Pandemic Increases Anxiety for Families Adopting Internationally
Over 4,000 children come to America each year for international adoption. These are children brought over from a wide variety of countries and for many different reasons. For those families who have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of their new child, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new anxiety to the process.
Closed Borders and Travel Restrictions
One of the most frustrating aspects of the pandemic for adopting parents has been the various travel restrictions. Not being able to see their child has been heartbreaking, especially if they were at the end of the adoption process. While virtual visits can be an option for some families, there are parts of the world where even those are not possible.
If the parents have been allowed to travel, there have often been quarantining procedures they must follow. Depending on where they live and where they are traveling, they may have been required to quarantine both before and after their travels. This creates an extra level of stress and could prevent one of the parents from being able to travel because they need to work. Social workers have also not been able to perform home visits, further delaying the adoption process.
Even if traveling has been allowed and necessary paperwork has been filled out, there has been another major glitch in the process. Most courtrooms around the country were shut down for any type of filings that were not essential. Unfortunately, the courts often do not consider adoption proceedings essential. As many adoptive parents will attest, finalizing the adoption brings a great sense of relief to their family. There is always a fear that there will be an unforeseen glitch and the adoption will not go through.
There are different types of international adoptions. A child can be born and adopted in their home country, or they can be adopted in a different country. Sometimes, if an adoption has been completed in their home country, they must be readopted into the United States. There is a lot of paperwork required no matter the type of adoption proceeding. For instance, if you have adopted a child in another country, they may need to be readopted into the United States. In this case, you must mail the following forms to the New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics and Registry:
• Report of Adoption form (REG-44)
• Certified copy of the final judgment of adoption from a New Jersey court
• Certified copy of the original birth certificate, as well as a certified English translation
• $2 in the form of a check or money order made out to the Treasurer of the State of New Jersey
• Proof of residency in New Jersey
• A Certificate of Citizenship from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Services
An experienced New Jersey adoption lawyer can help you obtain any of these documents that you may not have. In addition, they can answer any questions you have about which documents to provide. If the child’s adoption was completed in another country, there is a different set of forms required.
An Uncertain Future
As our country and the world move through this pandemic, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. For parents adopting internationally, they have a host of questions and worries about how this will affect the future. Parents who are considering international adoption may turn to domestic adoptions because of all of these obstacles. International adoption rates have been decreasing anyway, so these problems may cause even fewer of those children to be brought into loving homes.
Choose an Experienced Adoption Lawyer
With all of the uncertainty regarding international adoptions, you need an experienced New Jersey adoption lawyer on your side. Donald C. Cofsky has helped over 1,500 families achieve their dreams of adoption. Whether you are working with an agency or not, our firm can guide you through the process. Cofsky & Zeidman has offices in Haddonfield, Woodbury, and Philadelphia. Give our firm a call today, toll-free, at (856) 429-5005 to set up an appointment.