Juggling Adoption and Re-Adoption Paperwork

Posted: February 22, 2011 in Adoption, Virginia

Some good news, although this involves our other son’s re-adoption court case here in Virginia: I received a phone call this morning from the circuit court clerk’s office, telling me our re-adoption case is moving forward. Re-adoption essentially ensures our son’s adoption is recognized by our state and allows our son to have a certificate of foreign birth on file with the department of vital records. We are also seeking to legally change his name. (His Chinese name is currently used for our medical insurance and all of his legal documents.)

We completed our third and final post-placement report with our social worker for our first adoption last fall – this was required by our state before we could re-adopt. I had called a few attorneys in our area and learned they charge upwards of $1000 or more to complete a re-adoption case on our behalf. An adoptive family who had completed their own re-adoption emailed me a template and instructions for the court documents, and I learned the filing fee is just $39. The frugal side of me opted for the “do-it-yourself” option.  About the same time we were getting ready to file the re-adoption paperwork, our adoption agency called with news about our son’s little brother in Taiwan. The re-adoption paperwork sat unfinished on my desk until last month, when the whirlwind of our home study and dossier paperwork subsided, and I finally submitted it to our local court. (A downside of the “do-it-yourself” option: paperwork gets ignored when life gets busy!)

The next step for our re-adoption: our social worker will complete a report for the court, and then the judge will hopefully sign off on our final order of reference and petition to change his name. In some states, families have a court hearing and even take a picture with the judge following the proceedings. We will likely just receive a copy of the signed order in the mail. But I plan to celebrate this milestone whenever it is completed!

  1. Lauren says:

    So great to hear that you have waded your way through the re-adoption process! We are trying to do the same thing but are hopelessly confused so far. Would you be able to share the templates that were given to you?! Best of luck to your beautiful family! – Lauren

  2. Nik says:

    Thanks so much for your blogs on re-adopting in Virginia! The state doesn’t make it easy at all, it seems! I will join the chorus and ask if you can send me the template and instructions on how to do a re-adoption on our own? My wife and I adopted our 2 year old daughter in March of this year, from India. She has her citizenship certificate but we want to add a middle name.

    Thanks again – NM

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