Foreign Adoption

RC 3107.18 permits the probate court to conduct adoption refinalization proceedings.   The parents of minor children whose adoptions have been finalized in the original country of residence of the children may petition the probate court for a refinalization of the foreign adoption.  The Court considers the petition and utilizes the Court's adoption assessor to make a home visit, interview the petitioners, and if appropriate, the children, and render a report to the Court.  Upon refinalization, the adoptive parents receive an Ohio Adoption Decree and an Ohio Birth Certificate.

What the Adoptive Parent(s) (Petitioners) need:

  • The petitioner(s) must hire an attorney or go through an Ohio adoption agency. This is a State of Ohio law.
  • For purposes of adoption, the child to be adopted must live in the home of the petitioner(s) at least six (6) months before the final hearing.
  • Bring the original and a copy of the Foreign Adoption Decree or the Certificate of Adoption, and the birth certificate. If these documents are in a language other than English, you must bring a certified translation. The Court will return the originals to the petitioner(s).
  • Bring the original and a copy of the passport, visa, and citizenship papers. The Court will review each document and return the originals to the petitioner(s).
  • The petitioner(s) must provide copies of all home studies, post placement visits, and any other documents or notes related to the adoption.
  • Petitioner must submit proof that the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has approved the foreign certificate or adoption decree.

When Filing:

  • All forms must be typed.
  • Use full birth-names and no initials.
  • If there is no middle name or initial, use (NMI) in the spaces provided.
  • Make sure all signatures are included on all forms.
  • On Form 19.2, Petition to Recognize Foreign Adoption, the "Other" box on page 2 must be checked that petitioner(s) wish the court to issue a Final Decree of Adoption.

Filing Fee:    

  • The filing fee is $63.00.
  • If you use a credit card, a 3% charge will be added.
  • Make checks made payable to the “Wayne County Probate Court.”


The information contained on this web site is not legal advice, nor should it substitute for the assistance of a qualified attorney. Good legal assistance can speed up the court process and prevent costly legal errors.

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