Friday, March 07, 2008

Aaron's Readoption

Though Pennsylvania recognizes international adoptions, not all states
do; so when we adopted Jada, we were encouraged to have her readopted
in a county court in Pennsylvania. We did so, and were able to do it
in Montgomery County, where the fees are slightly lower and the wait
less long.

Because we did not physically go to Taiwan to adopt Aaron, we had to
do his readoption in Philadelphia County, and the ceremony was doubly
important because it greatly streamlines the process by which we can
get him a certificate of citizenship. So several months after we
started that process, we finally had our proverbial day in court.

The ceremony itself took barely five minutes, and consisted of a few
questions for Amy and me and a review of various documents concerning
Aaron's adoption. The ceremony was performed by an official known as
a Master, who sits on behalf of a judge and then makes a
recommendation to the judge, which the judge then usually signs off
on.

Because no cameras are allowed in the building, we could not snap any
photos ourselves. But the officials inside the courtroom, knowing
this restriction, have made it a habit of snapping a digital picture
themselves, and then printing it out for us. The resolution is pretty
poor, but it's still a significant photo in our family's life, because
it marks the completion of our adoption process and one more important
step in his citizenship process. One of these days, I'll figure out
how to get it scanned in to our computer so I can post it here. For
now, this description will have to do.

You should know, in closing, that as we had concluded the ceremony and
were posing for the picture with the Master, Aaron gave her a kick in
the back of her head. Given that she also conducts juvenile
delinquency cases, we hope this is Aaron's only encounter with her.

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