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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Fort Stewart, GA

    Question Adopting my foreign stepdaughter

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? Georgia

    Hello everyone. Married my wife 6 months ago. She has a 6 year old daughter from an old boyfriend. They're both arriving in the US for the first time from the Philippines in two weeks. There is no Father's name on the girl's Filipino birth certificate. What documents from a Philippine court do I need to show a Georgia court to show abandonment or neglect?

    I'm in the US Army and is on orders to go to Germany with my wife and stepdaughter on 27 Feb 05, next month. Do I have enough time to do this? Can I do it on a military court on base in Germany? Or do I have to go to German courts for this?

    If this is going to be complicated, is a name change a lot simpler? Her mom has my last name already. I don't want the girl to feel "outcasted" with a different family name.

    Thanks ahead for all your advices.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    You realize that once you adopt the kid you're responsible for her support if you and Mommy divorce, right? And you're aware of how stable marriages like yours are, I'm sure.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    In my home.


    ***stealth2 You realize that once you adopt the kid you're responsible for her support if you and Mommy divorce, right? And you're aware of how stable marriages like yours are, I'm sure.***

    Excuse me??? Marriages like yours??? Exactly what are you implying, that a US Military member's marriage isn't as stable as those in the civilian world or that a military member's marriage to a non-US citizen's isn't? Either way it sounds extremely rude and sounds like you've got personal issues regarding this type of situation.

    If you'd like to get the facts straight, a military member knows, they can't even separate from their spouse without a support order for the spouse and children- no matter how they came into the family. So, out of the deadbeat dads and moms in this world, you don't have to worry about the military members. The military makes sure the family is provided for. So your questioning of the care and responsibility of the child is unnecessary. Do you ask this question of all "step-parent" adoptions, or just the military ones?

    I take personal offense to your remarks to an active duty member. He came here asking legal advice and instead had your snide remarks. What part of his questions did you answer?

    14-year Wife of Active Duty Air Force Member, Georgia
    Mother of Foreign born adopted child,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Be as offended as you like. But there are a wealth of similar situations where someone marries a foreign national, brings him/her to the US, and then gets dumped once that green card is received. In addition, many people adopting a stepchild don't realize that they are fully responsible for supporting that child should the marriage end in divorce. It's not something to be entered into lightly and without being aware of all the ramifications.

    Had absolutely nothing to do with his being a service member, so you can cram your attitude.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Tacoma, WA
    First of all you need to contact your JAG office. They should have the resources to get you started. Secondly, you have to contact the USCIS regarding guidlines about adoptions of foreign step children. Here are some links to get you started: [url]http://uscis.gov/graphics/faqsgen.htm#V[/url]
    and: [url]http://uscis.gov/graphics/faqsgen.htm#A[/url] (look for "Adoption")

    Between the JAG and USCIS offices they will let you know how the adoption process goes and only contact the Philippine Embassy for help as a last resort. My dad married my filippino mom who had two children from a previous marriage. Their birth father was listed as deceased, so it did make it easier for him to adopt my older siblings. The process did take a couple of years from the start to their naturalization ceremony.

    As your step-daughter's birth father is not listed on the birth certificate, it does help make the process a little easier. But, your wife will have to do some paperwork herself to "prove" that the birth father has had no contact.

    Good luck on the whole thing and hope things work out for you and your new family.

    Edit: @stealth: You do bring up a valid point. The use of an American national to to get the almight green card is common, and yes, does often within the military.

    @Pitski: You really need to contact USCIS, find out which state adoption laws take precedence: your listed home state with the Army, state with which your wife filed for a spousal visa.

    Like I stated previously, your JAG office will have experience with this and give you more concise advice. The other thing you will have to do, is have legal papers drawn up for your step-daughter and your wife. Until you have legal custody of your step-daughter(adoption), if something were to happen to your wife(death), the s-d could be at risk of deportation. And if something were to happen to you while on active duty(death), both your wife and s-d could face deportation unless legal residency is established and they have lived in the states(possible exemption for stateside residence while stationed overseas) under your support for two years.

    Lots of info to find out and sort. And yes, frustrating. Get legal advice ASAP.

    Last edited by scmarshall; 01-26-2005 at 02:32 PM.
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