When children of another country are adopted by citizens of the United States, the controlling law is the law of the child’s country of origin. Normally, the adoptive parents will receive a final decree of adoption granted in the foreign country by the court or other authority which grants such decrees under the foreign country’s laws. A few countries have systems which confer legal authority on the adoptive parents to finalize the adoption in the courts or the home country of the adoptive parents.
In either of the above scenarios, the action by the foreign country, which results in making the adoptive parents the legal parents of the child, does not serve to make the child a U.S. citizen. Consequently, a visa must be obtained for the child to enter the United States. Under most circumstances, as soon as the child arrives in the United States, the child automatically becomes a U.S. citizen.
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