How Adoption Works

Once you bring your child home, you'll want to make sure to get him a new birth certificate and any other necessary documents.

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Coming Home

Once you bring your child home, you may have to finalize the adoption in court, depending on the type of visa he or she received. You should also obtain important documents for your child such as a new birth certificate, a Certificate of Citizenship and a Social Security Number.

Some sending countries have post-adoption requirements, including providing medical reports, written updates and pictures. Your adoption agency and the U.S. embassy should have information on any reporting that is required.

Beginning a new life can be difficult for a child. Remember that your adopted child is an orphan, one who very possibly experienced trauma or abandonment in his or her home country. The memories of this past can be a source of emotional strain. Other challenges your child may face include:

  • Adjusting to family life
  • Learning a new language
  • Being told what to do by new parents
  • Unfamiliarity with basic rights such as privacy or owning things

Even though your child had a medical exam in his or her home country, you should take your child to a local pediatrician for a checkup.

As your child grows up, be aware of his or her cultural and ethnic heritage. Try to integrate aspects of your child’s background into his or her new life. Consider talking with other parents who have adopted from abroad and joining a support group. You can also continue to consult your adoption agency. From these sources, you can learn how to talk with your child about what it means to be adopted and also how to maintain a positive connection with his or her homeland.