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RULE §181.29Foreign Adoptions

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish guidelines for the procedure of filing adoptions for residents of the State of Texas who adopt children in foreign countries.

(b) A certified copy of the decree of adoption granted in a foreign country and information with translation into the English language relating to the adoptive parent(s) and adoptee should be submitted to a court of competent jurisdiction of this state for validation. It is the responsibility of the applicant(s) to have all required documents translated into the English language. An official certificate of adoption must be prepared and submitted to the Vital Statistics Unit by the clerk of the court validating the foreign adoption.

(c) Certificate of birth. The State Registrar shall prepare a new certificate of birth for a person born in a foreign country, and adopted under the laws of a foreign country or under the laws of this state, when the State Registrar receives the following from a resident of this state:

  (1) a request by the resident adoptive parent(s) to file a new certificate of birth in the adoptive parent(s') names;

  (2) an official certificate of adoption prepared and filed in accordance with the laws of this state by the court which registered or validated the adoption; and

  (3) payment of all applicable fees.

(d) Guidelines. The State Registrar shall use the following guidelines when preparing a new certificate of birth.

  (1) The State Registrar shall not alter or change the place of birth or the date of birth from the information contained in the documentation presented.

  (2) The new certificate shall be prepared on the current certificate form in the same manner as an in-state adoption is prepared and reflect the foreign country of birth.

  (3) As prescribed in the Health and Safety Code, §192.008, all documentation used to prepare the new certificate of birth shall be placed in a sealed file and accessed by an applicant only upon presentation of a certified copy of an order from the Texas district court that validated the foreign adoption.

  (4) Once a file is sealed, a standard fee shall be charged for a search for a file and any copies of records issued as prescribed in Health and Safety Code, §191.0045.

(e) Exceptions. The guidelines, as stated in subsection (d) of this section, do not apply if a child was born in a foreign country and was a citizen of the United States at the time of birth. This record may only be processed by the United States Department of State.

Source Note: The provisions of this §181.29 adopted to be effective July 17, 1995, 20 TexReg 4687; amended to be effective July 3, 2003, 28 TexReg 4904; amended to be effective July 22, 2004, 29 TexReg 6936; amended to be effective August 11, 2013, 38 TexReg 4896

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