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2021 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.493. Requirement to request adoption under California law of a child born in a foreign country when the adoption is finalized in the foreign country (Fam. Code, §§ 8912, 8919)

(a) Responsibility to file request

(1)  A resident of California who has finalized an intercountry adoption in a foreign country must:

(A)  File a request to adopt the child in California within the earlier of 60 days from the adoptee's entry into the United States or the adoptee's 16th birthday; and

(B)  Provide a copy of the adoption request to each adoption agency that provided the adoption services to the adoptive parent or parents.

(2)  If the adopting parent fails to timely file a request to adopt the child under California law, the adoption agency that facilitated the adoption must:

(A)  File the request within 90 days of the child's entry into the United States; and

(B)  Provide a file-marked copy of the request to the adoptive parent and to any other adoption agency that provided services to the adoptive parent within five business days of filing.

(3)  If an adoption agency files a request in accordance with (2), the adoptive parent or parents will be liable to the adoption agency for all costs and fees incurred as a result of good faith actions taken by the adoption agency to fulfill the requirement set forth in this rule.

(b) Contents of request

(1)  A request to adopt under California law a child born in a foreign country whose adoption was finalized in a foreign country must include all of the following:

(A)  A certified or otherwise official copy of the foreign decree, order, or certification of adoption that reflects finalization of the adoption in the foreign country;

(B)  A certified or otherwise official copy of the child's foreign birth certificate;

(C)  A certified translation of all documents described in this subdivision that are not written in English;

(D)  Proof that the child was granted lawful entry into the United States as an immediate relative of the adoptive parent or parents;

(E)  A report from at least one postplacement home visit by an intercountry adoption agency or a contractor of that agency licensed to provide intercountry adoption services in the state of California; and

(F)  A copy of the home study report previously completed for the international finalized adoption by an adoption agency authorized to provide intercountry adoption services, in accordance with Family Code section 8900.

(2)  If an adoption agency initiates a request in accordance with (a)(2), the filing must consist of the following:

(A)  A signed cover sheet containing the name, date of birth, and date of entry to the United States of the child, the name and address of the adoptive parent or parents, and the name and contact information for the adoption agency;

(B)  Blank copies of all forms required to initiate the request for adoption under California law; and

(C)  Any document required in (b)(1) that is in the possession of the adoption agency.

(c) Clerk's notice of request and order

(1)  When a request for adoption under California law of a child whose adoption was finalized in a foreign country is filed, the court clerk must immediately notify the California Department of Social Services in Sacramento in writing of the pendency of the proceeding and of any subsequent action taken.

(2)  If a request for adoption under California law is initiated under (a)(2), the clerk of the court must file-stamp the request to allow the adoption agency to fulfill its obligations under (a)(2)(B).

(3)  Within 10 business days of an order granting a request for adoption under California law, the clerk of the court must submit to the State Registrar the order granting the request.

Rule 5.493 adopted effective January 1, 2021.

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