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How to authenticate or apostille adoption documents?

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens adopt children from overseas. This is known as an intercountry adoption.


According to the U.S. Department of State, the documents required in intercountry adoption may include the below, and most of them need to be notarized and apostilled or authenticated.

  • Birth Certificate

  • Marital status statement: Marriage Certificate, Divorce or Death Certificate, Statement of Single Status

  • Financial Statements: Verification of Employment, Bank Statements

  • Health Examination Certificate or Medical Letters

  • FBI Background Check

  • Home Study Report

  • Approval Notice from USCIS

  • Power of Attorneys (if only one spouse will travel to the destination country)


About the apostille or authentication process and steps, requirements also vary based on the type of your document and the destination country.


If the destination country is a member of the Hague Convention of 1961

  • and it's a state or local document, your document falls under the Apostille process (following Step 1 and 2); or

  • and it's a federally-issued document, your document falls under the Apostille process (following Step 1 and 3).

If the destination country is NOT a member of the Hague Convention of 1961

  • and it's a state or local document, your document is required to go through the Authentication process (following Step 1,2,3, and 4); or

  • and it's a federally-issued document, your document is required to go through the Authentication process (following Step 1, 3, and 4).

Authentication or Apostille Process


Step 1: Depending on the type, have your adoption-related document notarized or get a certified copy.


Step 2: Get it authenticated or apostilled by the Secretary of State


For Hague Convention Countries, get it certified with an apostille by the Secretary of State.


For Non-Hague Convention Countries, get it certified with authentication by the Secretary of State. Go to Step 3.


Step 3: Get it authenticated or apostilled by the Department of State


Have your adoption-related document authenticated by the U.S. Department of State.


Step 4: Get it legalized by the embassy of your destination country


Contact the embassy of your destination country to get the adoption-related document legalized.


Below is the process chart you may follow.

apostille process, authentication process, legalization process

Adopting a child from another country can be a complicated journey. Same case for obtaining an apostille or authentication on international adoption documents. With tight deadlines, limited validities, various application procedures, and different requirements based on the destination countries, you should seriously consider using a professional to navigate your document apostille or authentication.


 

American Notary Service Center Inc. provides fair, fast, confidential, and professional document notarization and certification services for our clients. We also provide various assistance services to small businesses led by socially and economically disadvantaged groups. Our service helps small businesses obtain federal government contracts, gain a foothold in the market, and boost their sales. For more information, please visit our website at www.usnotarycenter.com, and contact us by calling 202-599-0777 or by email at info@usnotarycenter.com.

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