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IR3 vs. IR4 Visa
  • IR3 visa means that the child has been classified as an immediate relative (hence “IR”) and was physically seen by all of his/her parents before the adoption took place.
  • IR4 visa means that the child was not physically seen by all of his/her parents before the adoption took place; therefore, the adoption is not full and final under USCIS law and the child must be readopted in order to be granted U.S. citizenship.
If it’s a “3”, then you’re home free.

If it’s a “4”, you’ve got to do more!

Readoption (Finalization of Foreign Adoption)

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (effective as of February 27, 2001) has caused confusion determining whether or not all internationally adopted children are granted automatic U.S. citizenship.

In simplistic terms, children entering the U.S. on an IR-3 visa are automatically granted U.S. citizenship upon immigration.  Those entering on an IR-4 visa are NOT automatically granted U.S. citizenship without finalization of the foreign adoption under U.S. state law.  This is a USCIS (Immigration) requirement for citizenship and has nothing to do with whether or not your state requires readoption.  Read more aboutWhy Readoption is Important”.   Please consult an attorney to determine whether or not you should readopt.

When you readopt, you get a State-issued adoption decree, a state birth certificate, and a legal name change for your child.  If you wish to readopt, however, Legal-Eaze can assist you in the preparation of the paperwork necessary for filing with the Family/Surrogate/ Probate/Orphan Court in your county in the following states  (click on the state to print application):

  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
                        . . . With more states to come . . .

* only for IR-4 visa holders; change of name and recognition of adoption is available for  IR-3 visa holders.

It is highly suggested that you research the adoption and readoption laws in your state.  Legal-Eaze is not responsible for your decision or for the decision by a particular court or jurisdiction; therefore, all work performed is final and is not subject to refund.  If in doubt, always consult a lawyer for legal advice.  The following are great sites to begin your research:
Legal-Eaze also prepares the paperwork for Second Parent Adoptions in New York State only.  A second parent adoption is when a single parent adopts a child, then wants to add a new spouse or a same-sex partner to the child’s adoption decree.  If you would like Legal-Eaze to prepare your paperwork for a second parent adoption, please click to download the Second Parent Adoption Application and instructions.

Again, we are NOT lawyers and do not give legal advice.  We simply prepare the paperwork under your own guidance and direction.  You receive the appropriate paperwork back with instructions and ready for filing.  You file the paperwork directly with the Court.  Contact our Readoptions Coordinator with any questions.

Most courts require that readoption or second parent adoption paperwork be filed along with a current home study update or post placement report.  We advise you to file your readoption/second parent adoption paperwork at the time you are having post placement reports done by your adoption/home study agency.  By doing it this way, you will not incur additional home study costs just for the readoption.

Legal-Eaze Fees for Readoption Paperwork
  • Readoption — $500*
  • Second Parent Adoption — $600*
*Price is strictly for legal form preparation.  Court costs, home study fees, and/or filing fees, if any, are not included.

Mailing Instructions
  • Download application for your state.
If you would like to join our Yahoo Group regarding Readoption please visit:

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Questions?  Contact us by phone at (561) 324-9371 or by email.

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