42 USC § 14931
Adoptions of children immigrating to the United States
July 4, 2020

(a) Legal effect of certificates issued by the Secretary of State

(1) Issuance of certificates by the Secretary of State
The Secretary of State shall, with respect to each Convention adoption, issue a certificate to the adoptive citizen parent domiciled in the United States that the adoption has been granted or, in the case of a prospective adoptive citizen parent, that legal custody of the child has been granted to the citizen parent for purposes of emigration and adoption, pursuant to the Convention and this chapter, if the Secretary of State—

(A) receives appropriate notification from the central authority of such child's country of origin; and

(B) has verified that the requirements of the Convention and this chapter have been met with respect to the adoption.

(2) Legal effect of certificates
If appended to an original adoption decree, the certificate described in paragraph (1) shall be treated by Federal and State agencies, courts, and other public and private persons and entities as conclusive evidence of the facts certified therein and shall constitute the certification required by section 1154(d)(2) of title 8.

(b) Legal effect of Convention adoption finalized in another Convention country
A final adoption in another Convention country, certified by the Secretary of State pursuant to subsection (a) of this section or section 14932(c) of this title, shall be recognized as a final valid adoption for purposes of all Federal, State, and local laws of the United States.

(c) Condition on finalization of Convention adoption by State court
In the case of a child who has entered the United States from another Convention country for the purpose of adoption, an order declaring the adoption final shall not be entered unless the Secretary of State has issued the certificate provided for in subsection (a) with respect to the adoption.

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), was in the original "this Act", meaning Pub. L. 106–279, Oct. 6, 2000, 114 Stat. 825, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 14901 of this title and Tables.

Effective Date

Section effective upon entry into force for the United States of the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, pursuant to Article 46(2)(a) of the Convention, with transition rule, see section 505(a)(2), (b) of Pub. L. 106–279, set out as an Effective Dates; Transition Rule note under section 14901 of this title.

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