You will have post-adoption visits (countries determine the required number) conducted by a Lifeline social worker (or an in-state social worker, if you live outside of AL, FL, GA, KS, KY, MS, SC, TN, and WA). These visits will be conducted face to face and will take place at intervals determined by your child’s country of origin. These visits are a wonderful time to talk through the many changes that occur when you return home. You will need to send photos of your child with each completed post-adoption report. One picture should be of the immediate family with the child. Other suggestions for pictures include activities your child enjoys, your child in his or her new bedroom, or your newly adopted child with your other children, if applicable. Please have the photos printed on 4 x 6 photo paper and tape them to white computer paper, with captions above or below the photos explaining who is in it or what is occurring in the photos.

Other Information

Medical Information/Forms/Insurance

Please remember that we recommend you consult an international adoption clinic in your state or region as a resource for your child’s medical treatment. Please also inform your pediatrician of this resource should they have any questions regarding your child’s medical care. Don’t forget to contact your health insurance agent as soon as possible to add your child to the family’s health insurance policy, sending any required forms they need. Each insurance company is different, so be sure to speak directly with an agent to confirm your child is covered. See attachment regarding the medical tests we recommend for your pediatrician to complete.

Attachment and Bonding Information

Please remember that we recommend that you consult an international adoption clinic in your state or region as a resource for your child’s attachment and bonding. This is a great time to review the training materials provided to you during the home study process regarding attachment and bonding. Please consult with your post adoption social worker for more resources and specific questions, and know you can contact us as your post adoption team.

Post Adoption Checklist for families who travel on IR-3 and IH-3 VISAs

(Ethiopia, Haiti, Ukraine, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Poland, Taiwan & Peru)

  • Post Adoption Visits-See manual for country specific post adoption requirements and schedule visits with social worker, providing required photos and other documents
  • Insurance-confirm that your child has been added to your health insurance
  • Medical Appointments-complete appointments and/or consult with International Adoption Clinic
  • Certificate of Citizenship (CoC) will receive this via mail (45-60 days after arrival home)
  • Apply for Social Security Card-once receive CoC (see manual for how to apply)
  • Apply for U.S. Passport (if desired)
  • Re-adopt in your state of residence to receive a U.S. birth certificate (ask your home study social worker about state specific requirements)
  • Adoption Tax Credit-Compile receipts and cancelled checks from the adoption process to provide for adoption tax credit and contact an accountant if desired to aid in this process
  • Contact Lifeline Post Adoption Team as needed with any questions or concerns

Post Adoption Checklist for families who travel on IR-4 and IH-4 VISAs

(Congo, Uganda & Hong Kong)

  • Post Adoption Visits-See manual for country specific post adoption requirements and schedule visits with social worker, providing required photos and other documents
  • Insurance-confirm that your child has been added to your health insurance
  • Medical Appointments-complete appointments and/or consult with International Adoption Clinic
  • Permanent Resident Card (green card)- will automatically receive this
  • Adoption Finalization-consult with social worker for state specific requirements
  • Apply for Social Security Card-once receive CoC or finalize your adoption (see manual for how to apply)
  • Apply for U.S. Passport (if desired)
  • Adoption Tax Credit-Compile receipts and cancelled checks from the adoption process to provide for adoption tax credit and contact an accountant if desired to aid in this process
  • Contact Lifeline Post Adoption Team as needed with any questions or concerns

Adoption Finalization and Adoption Tax Credit

For families who travel on IR-3 and IH-3 VISA’s:
(Ethiopia, Haiti, Ukraine, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Poland, Taiwan and Peru)

Your child’s adoption will be finalized in his/her country of origin. Some U.S. states require you to re-adopt in your state to receive a U.S. birth certificate. Please check with your home study agency for requirements in your state.

For families who travel on IR-4 and IH-4 VISAS:
(Congo, Uganda & Hong Kong)

Your adoptions are NOT finalized in country. You will receive legal guardianship of your child, but you MUST finalize your adoption in your state of residence.

Please contact your social worker if you have any questions regarding this process. We have included the name of two lawyers, Bob Echols or Sam McClure, and their contact information for residents of Alabama. They will be able to assist you with your adoption finalization process should you desire to use their services. Out of state families should consult with their local home study agency to receive more information on court processes and lawyer recommendations in your state.

Adoption Tax Credit

In January 2013, Congress passed a bill that makes the 2000 Adoption Tax Credit permanent. The maximum adoption tax credit will probably be $10,000- $12,720 for families whose incomes fall under $150,000, and it will phase out for families with higher incomes. The credit is no longer refundable, meaning it will take longer for families to receive the tax credit, but it will be received over time (up to 5 years) for families who qualify. This means that families whose expenses exceed their tax liabilities will spread the refund over time (up to 5 years). The credit covers “qualified expenses”, so be sure to save all of your receipts or other forms of documentation from your adoption/ including all adoption travel expenses. You will include this adoption credit in the year of the finalization of your adoption on your U.S. Tax Return (Form 1040). It is a good idea to consult your accountant as he/she can fully prepare your forms for this credit.

U.S. Citizenship, Social Security Card and Passport

For families who travel on IR-3 and IH-3 VISA’s:
(Ethiopia, Haiti, Ukraine, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Poland, Taiwan & Peru)

Certificate of Citizenship: USCIS will automatically send your child’s Certificate of Citizenship to your address without requiring additional forms or fees once you have arrived home if your child is under age 14 when leaving the birth country . You will receive your child’s Certificate of Citizenship in the mail approximately forty-five to sixty days after you arrive home. If your child turns 14 before leaving the birth country, you will be sent an appointment time by your local USCIS for your child to take an oath, and he/she will receive the Certificate of Citizenship at that time. Please refer to the USCIS website for more information: www.uscis.gov
(Note: There may be exceptions to your child’s citizenship if both parents do not travel. Please consult with the post adoption team if you have any concerns.)

Social Security Card: You can apply for your child’s social security card at any time after you receive your child’s certificate of citizenship. Take ALL of your child’s original documents from their country of origin, adoption decree, the original passport from the child’s country of origin (and U.S. passport, if applicable), and your driver’s license to the Social Security office. They will make copies of these documents and give the originals back to you. Your card will arrive in about four to six weeks from the time of application.
The application form, as well as a list of local Social Security Offices can be found at this link: www.socialsecurity.gov. If you need more information, you can also call: 1-800-771-1213.

Please do not send social security numbers or claims information over the Internet since it is not a secure environment. Those questions should be directed to SSA’s toll free service at 1-800-772-1213 or toll free TDD service at 1-800-325-0778.

U.S. Passport: You may want to apply for a U.S. passport for your child even though your certificate of citizenship will be automatically generated.
To obtain your child’s U.S. passport, you will need to follow the steps below in person (BOTH parents) at the proper local authority:
1. Complete and take with you Form DS-11, Application for a US passport
2. Submit Form DS-11 in person
3. Submit child’s evidence of U.S. citizenship
4. Submit evidence of relationship between child and parent(s)
5. Present identification of parent(s)
6. Submit a photocopy of each parents’ identification documented to be presented (step 5)
7. Provide Parental consent
8. Pay the application fee
9. Submit one passport photo
Please refer to the website for specific information (approved forms of ID, birth certificate details, etc.) and to download the application: http://www.travel.state.gov/passport

For Families who travel on IR-4 and IH-4 VISAS:
(Congo, Uganda and Hong Kong )

Certificate of Citizenship: Children who arrive on IR-4 and IH-4 VISAS do not acquire automatic citizenship upon entry to the U.S., but instead become permanent residents. Your child will automatically receive a permanent resident card (green card). You must finalize your child’s adoption in your state of residence. Your child will automatically acquire citizenship on the date of adoption finalization in the U.S. if the adoption occurs before the child’s 18th birthday. Once you have completed your adoption finalization, you will file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship. See the website to download and for all instructions: www.uscis.gov/files/form/n-600

Social Security Card: You can apply for your child’s social security card at any time after you receive your child’s certificate of citizenship or finalize your child’s adoption and receive his/her U. S. birth certificate. Take ALL of your child’s original documents from their country of origin, birth certificate, adoption decree, the original passport from the child’s country of origin (and U.S. passport, if applicable), and your driver’s license to the Social Security office. They will make copies of these documents and give the originals back to you. Your card will arrive in about four to six weeks from the time of application.

The application form, as well as a list of local Social Security Offices can be found at this link: www.socialsecurity.gov.
If you need more information, you can also call: 1-800-771-1213.

Please do not send social security numbers or claims information over the Internet since it is not a secure environment. Those questions should be directed to SSA’s toll free service at 1-800-772-1213 or toll free TDD service at 1-800-325-0778.

U.S. Passport: You may want to apply for a U.S. passport for your child. To obtain your child’s U.S. passport, you will need to follow the steps below in person (BOTH parents) at the proper local authority:
1. Complete and take with you Form DS-11, Application for a US passport
2. Submit Form DS-11 in person
3. Submit child’s evidence of U.S. citizenship
4. Submit evidence of relationship between child and parent(s)
5. Present identification of parent(s)
6. Submit a photocopy of each parents’ identification documented to be presented (step 5)
7. Provide Parental consent
8. Pay the application fee
9. Submit one passport photo

Please refer to the website for specific information (approved forms of ID, birth certificate details, etc.) and to download the application. http://www.travel.state.gov/passport