Most countries have either post-placement or post adoption reporting requirements in addition to any state reporting requirements. It is imperative that you comply with agency and/or country requirements because these reports are often the only reassurance the placing country receives to know that the children are doing well. In Hong Kong cases, post-placement reports are required and mandatory before you can finalize your child’s adoption in the US, as children come home on a guardianship visa versus finalizing their child’s adoption in the country. These reports inform the adoption authority about the child’s adjustment and integration into the family. They also go a long way in helping countries justify placing children with international families. There is no reason to fear providing these reports. Working with a social worker who can help talk through challenges and offer resources will also be very beneficial for the family’s adjustment.
Hong Kong requires that you submit written post-placement reports to MAA at one (1) month, two (2) months, four (4) months, and six (6) months after you arrive home with your child. These reports should include 6-8 photos of your child, with details about the health and well-being of the child, and information on how your family is adjusting. We will review and then forward these reports to the officials in the foreign country. In addition to the formality of the requirements, post-placement supervision also gives the adoptive parents an opportunity to discuss with their social worker any concerns they may have about the child or the family dynamics. This is not an investigative procedure, but rather an opportunity to have a source of ongoing support and guidance.
It is required that families adopting from Hong Kong finalize their child’s adoption in the adoptive family’s local court. The family will then provide the final adoption decree as well as a US birth certificate and US Certificate of Citizenship to MAA, who will forward them to our foreign partner and the Central Authority of Hong Kong.
After you have completed the mandatory post placement reports, MAA will issue a Consent to Adopt form for your family. This form is necessary to initiate the process of finalizing your child’s adoption. You will need to retain a lawyer in your state to assist you with this step. Laws vary from state to state. To understand the laws of your state, please contact a local attorney experienced with international adoption and/or your local home study agency.
After your child’s adoption is finalized, he/she will be able to receive an American birth certificate issued by your state of residence. Birth certificates will be necessary for your child when they attend school, sign up for camp, future marriage and/or possible adoption. Madison Adoption Associates must receive a copy of the new birth certificate.
If the name on your child’s green card does not match the name on your foreign adoption documents, or if you have given the child another name, it is advisable to complete a legal name change at the time of the finalization. This is an excellent way of completing a name change without incurring significant additional legal expense.
Applying for the Child’s Certificate of Citizenship
You must also submit your child’s US Certificate of Citizenship. This is done by completing form N-600. There is a fee to apply for this certificate. This packet can be mailed to you by contacting the USCIS at 800-870-3676, or you can access and download the necessary forms and instructions at the USCIS website: www.uscis.gov (click on Immigration Forms). More information about this step will be sent to you in your Welcome Home packet.
Registering at the Thai Consulate or Embassy
Approximately 6-12 months after your final post-placement report is submitted, MAA will receive your invitation to register at the Thai consulate or embassy nearest your home. This registration is required by the DCY. We will forward the invitation to you, along with contact information for your assigned consulate, and it is your responsibility to contact the consulate and schedule an appointment. The consulate will advise you on what paperwork to bring. Once you have completed the registration, send a copy to MAA, so we can keep a copy in your file and forward a copy to the TRC and/or DCY. This step completes your adoption process from Hong Kong.
Please contact Sarah Hansen at Sarah@MadisonAdoption.org or call MAA with any questions regarding the post placement reports for Hong Kong.