Effective May 2010, the State of Colorado requires adoptive families to validate (re-adopt) their foreign born/adopted child in a Colorado Court regardless of Visa status. We will file your child's validation paperwork within 30 days of your child’s arrival home, per Colorado regulations. After validation you will be able to get a Colorado certificate of foreign birth (in essence a birth certificate) for your child and then you will need to apply for citizenship if your child arrived to the US on an IR4 visa. Unlike your child’s foreign birth certificate, a Colorado birth certificate is a readily acceptable, easy to read and easily replaceable.

For families residing outside of Colorado it is important to note that each state has different laws regarding this topic. Please check with your home study agency or an attorney to find out what you need to do to complete your child's legal process.


For children who arrived on an IR4 Visa, this will be the first step to securing US Citizenship. An IR4 visa is issued when only one or neither adoptive parents met the child prior to the adoption being approved in the foreign country.

 You may legally change your child’s given name at birth to the new name you selected for him/her at the time of adoption. This will be reflected in the Adoption Decree,  Birth Certificate and US Citizenship documents (passport, social security, etc)

Citizenship status through USCIS (an IR3 Visa) is a separate legal issue from validation of foreign adoption. The laws and regulations of both state and federal laws must be considered as, unfortunately, they are not always interchangeable.

Adoption Decree issued by the state will be in English. Should you need to prove the adoption throughout your child’s life, it will be easier for you or your child to be able to refer to one document that is written in English and is readily recognizable and accepted as a legal decree of adoption.

In case of loss or theft, it is easier and more affordable to replace a US/state issued Adoption Decree than attempt to get a new certified copy of the original one issued in the foreign country. It may be impossible to do so.

Family and friends who were not present for your adoption in the foreign country may enjoy attending the adoption hearing and celebrate with you (select counties require court appearance, others do not require it but one may be requested)

Federal laws, such as Social Security, can be based on a state’s underlying law regarding adoption, specifically in terms of inheritance, etc. In certain circumstances a U.S. state issued adoption decree, as opposed to a foreign adoption decree, is required for an adopted child to be entitled to social security benefits through his or her parents or parent.

Finally, an adoption decree issued from your state will provide you and your child with additional peace of mind and protection should the foreign country involved ever challenge the validity of the adoption of your child. You may at some point want to bring your child to visit his or her country of birth. A U.S. state issued adoption decree will prove and confirm his or her status as your child under U.S. laws.

Please note that information is general in nature and is not intended to be comprehensive. This is not legal advice nor should it be relied upon as legal advice. A Love Beyond Borders has attempted to provide the most up to date information; however, be aware that information on this topic is subject to frequent change.

Each state requires validation or re-adoption, please check with your individual state for requirements and procedures.  For more information about adoption or the validation process please contact us.