Readoption -vs- domestication: finalizing an international adoption in South Carolina

The following information is adapted from the post-adoption support files here at Carolina Hope. Note that this information is directly applicable only to SC residents who have adopted from overseas. The information provided here should not be construed as legal advice, for which you should see a qualified attorney.

Once you are home with your child, it is important to get a State-issued birth certificate for him or her. Here in South Carolina you have a choice between doing a domestication of the adoption — which you can do without an attorney — or readoption, which requires the help of an attorney. Both domestication and readoption will give you a South Carolina-issued birth certificate.

If you came home on an IR-3 visa, your child became a U.S. citizen as soon as your plane landed in the States. So why choose readoption rather than domestication? The main reason is that readoption terminates under South Carolina law any rights of your child’s birth parents over your child. Carolina Hope has had more than one incident in which an overseas orphanage was shut down, and the orders of adoption for children from that orphanage were nullified. While this is not common, it is a very serious thing, and readopting your child here in the U.S. will strongly affirm the legality of your child’s adoption and help prevent its being called into question. Continue reading