Bill Text

Bill Information

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-724 Foreign adoption: domestication.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 03/21/2017 04:00 AM
AB724:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 20, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 724


Introduced by Assembly Member Choi
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Patterson Gallagher, Lackey, Patterson, and Voepel)
(Coauthor: Senator Anderson)

February 15, 2017


An act to repeal and add Section 8919 of the Family Code, relating to intercountry adoption.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 724, as amended, Choi. Foreign adoption: domestication.
Existing law requires a Hague adoption certificate or, in outgoing cases, a Hague custody declaration obtained from the United States Secretary of State pursuant to the procedures set forth in specified federal regulations to be recognized as a final valid adoption for purposes of all state and local laws.
Existing law establishes a process for readoption in this state. Existing law requires each resident of the state who adopts a child through an intercountry adoption that is finalized in a foreign county country to readopt the child in this state if it is required by the United States Department of Homeland Security, and requires this readoption to include at least one postplacement in-home visit, the home study report, and the final adoption order. Existing law authorizes a resident of the state who adopts a child through an intercountry adoption that is finalized in a foreign county to readopt the child in this state, and requires this readoption to meet the standards described above.
This bill would repeal these readoption provisions and would instead establish a process to domesticate a foreign adoption decree. The bill would require the state to recognize and give full faith and credit to a foreign adoption decree, as specified, without the need for readoption or any other legal proceeding, if certain criteria are met. The bill would require, within the sooner of 120 days of the child’s adoptee’s entry into the United States, and in no event later than the child’s States or the adoptee’s 16th birthday, each state resident who adopts a child through an intercountry adoption that is finalized in a foreign country to file a petition with the court to obtain a court declaration of full faith and credit to domesticate the foreign decree of adoption. The bill would require the court to grant the petition if the petitioner provides the court with copies of specified documents. The bill would require the clerk of the court, within 10 business days after issuance of the domestication of the foreign judgment, to submit to the State Registrar the order, and upon receipt by the State Registrar, would entitle the child to receive require the State Registrar to issue a delayed registration of birth, as specified. The bill would entitle, if any person who has adopted a child through an intercountry adoption and fails to complete any legal process necessary to obtain United States citizenship for the child within one year of the child’s entry into the United States, or by the child’s 16th birthday, whichever is sooner, any interested person, party, as defined, to file a petition to domesticate the foreign adoption decree.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 8919 of the Family Code is repealed.
SEC. 2.Section 8919 is added to the Family Code, to read:
8919.

(a)Each state resident who adopts a child through an intercountry adoption that is finalized in a foreign country shall, within 120 days of the child’s entry into the United States, and in no event later than the child’s 16th birthday, file a petition to obtain a court declaration of full faith and credit to domesticate the foreign decree of adoption.

(b)The petition to domesticate the foreign adoption decree shall be granted if the petitioner provides the court with all of the following documents:

(1)The foreign decree, order, or certification of adoption that evidences finalization of the adoption in the foreign country.

(2)The child’s foreign birth certificate and visa.

(3)A certified translation of all documents described in this subdivision that are not written in English. The certified translation, if any, that was completed for purposes of obtaining the child’s visa shall be acceptable for this purpose.

(c)If the court denies a petition for domestication of the foreign judgment, the court shall summarize its reasons for the denial on the record.

(d)Within 10 business days after domestication of the foreign judgment, the clerk of the court shall submit to the State Registrar the order domesticating the foreign adoption. Upon receipt by the State Registrar, the child whose foreign adoption decree was domesticated pursuant to this section shall be entitled to receive a delayed registration of birth in accordance with Section 102600 of the Health and Safety Code that lists the adoptive parent or parents as the child’s legal parent or parents.

(e)In addition to the requirement of domestication set forth in this section, each state resident who adopts a child through an intercountry adoption that is finalized in a foreign country may obtain a birth certificate in the State of California in accordance with the provisions of Section 102635 or 103450 of the Health and Safety Code.

(f)(1)If any person who has adopted a child through an intercountry adoption that is finalized in a foreign country fails to complete any legal process necessary to obtain United States citizenship for the child within one year of the child’s entry into the United States, or by the child’s 16th birthday, whichever is sooner, then any interested person shall be entitled to file a petition to domesticate the foreign adoption decree. The requirement of standing to file a petition under this subdivision shall be liberally construed in favor of allowing the action to proceed to protect the best interests of the child. The court presiding over the petition shall have authority to join any necessary persons or entities in order to require production of any documents necessary for the court to make the appropriate determination.

(2)For purposes of this section, “interested person” includes, but is not limited to, the child, an adoptive parent whether acting with or without the consent of the other adoptive parent, a legal guardian of the child, any relative of the child within the second degree, any adoption agency that provided services to the adoptive family or the child, and any public child welfare agency that has taken the child into protective custody.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8919 is added to the Family Code, to read:

8919.
 (a) To protect the welfare of children, the state shall recognize and give full faith and credit to a foreign adoption decree, so that the rights and obligations of the parties shall be determined as though the order of adoption had been entered by a court of this state, and so that the child shall receive United States citizenship pursuant to Section 320.1 of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations, without the need for readoption or any other legal proceeding, if all of the following are true:
(1) The child was born in a foreign country.
(2) The child was not a citizen of the United States at the time of birth.
(3) The child was adopted by a citizen of this state in a foreign proceeding in which the adoption was finalized pursuant to the laws of the country from which the child was adopted.
(4) As a result of that foreign adoption, the child was granted lawful entry into the United States as an immediate relative of the adoptive parent or parents.
(b) In order to establish a record by which an adoptee can prove the facts of the foreign adoption that resulted in United States citizenship, each state resident who adopts a child through an intercountry adoption that is finalized in a foreign country shall, within the sooner of 120 days of the adoptee’s entry into the United States or the adoptee’s 16th birthday, file a petition to obtain a formal court declaration to domesticate the foreign decree of adoption.
(c) The petition to domesticate the foreign adoption decree shall be granted if the petitioner supplies the court with copies of all of the following documents:
(1) The foreign decree, order, or certification of adoption that evidences finalization of the adoption in the foreign country.
(2) The child’s foreign birth certificate.
(3) A certified translation of all documents described in this subdivision that are not written in English. The court shall accept the certified translation, if any, that was completed abroad for purposes of obtaining the child’s visa.
(d) If the court denies a petition for domestication of the foreign judgment, the court shall summarize its reasons for the denial on the record. A denial of the petition, or any party’s failure to file the petition, shall not affect the state’s automatic recognition of the judgment pursuant to subdivision (a), with all of the attendant benefits of that recognition.
(e) Within 10 business days after domestication of the foreign judgment, the clerk of the court shall submit to the State Registrar the order domesticating the foreign adoption. Upon receipt the State Registrar shall issue a delayed registration of birth in accordance with Section 102600 of the Health and Safety Code that lists the adoptive parent or parents as the child’s legal parent or parents.
(f) (1) If a person who has adopted a child through an intercountry adoption that is finalized in a foreign country fails to complete any legal process necessary to obtain United States citizenship for the child within one year of the child’s entry into the United States or the child’s 16th birthday, whichever is sooner, any interested party may file a petition to domesticate the foreign adoption decree of any adoptee residing in this state. The requirement of standing to file a petition under this subdivision shall be liberally construed in favor of allowing the action to proceed at any time during the adoptee’s life, whether minority or adulthood, in order to protect the best interests of the adoptee. The court may cause the order domesticating the foreign judgment to be entered nunc pro tunc, and shall also have the authority to join any necessary persons or entities in order to require production of any documents necessary for the court to make the appropriate determination.
(2) For purposes of this section, “interested party” includes, but is not limited to, the adoptee, whether minor or an adult, an adoptive parent, whether acting with or without the consent of the other adoptive parent, a legal guardian or conservator of the adoptee, any relative of the adoptee within the second degree, any adoption agency that provided services to the adoptive family or the adoptee, and any public child welfare agency that has taken the adoptee into protective custody.