Depoe Bay, OR asked in Adoption and Immigration Law for Oregon

Q: How do I go about obtaining adoption and or immigration records?

My brother and I are applying for dual citizenship. One of the requirements in our case are adoption papers or perhaps an immigration N-400 form which would link our birth certificate name with my US military stepfather's last name. We were both naturalized in 1972 prior to turning 18. I do not have those adoption records. It wasn't found in the estate of my deceased parents. And, I am only surmising that my stepfather may have applied for an N-400. And I am also assuming that we were adopted prior to being naturalized. So, the questions are, what records exist and how do I obtain them?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: To obtain adoption and immigration records, you can follow these steps:

1. Adoption Records:

- Contact the court where the adoption was finalized. The court should have records of the adoption proceedings.

- If you know the state where the adoption took place, you can contact the state's vital records office or the department of health and human services for guidance on obtaining adoption records.

- Some states have restrictions on who can access adoption records, so you may need to provide proof of your relationship to the adopted child.

2. Immigration Records (N-400 and other forms):

- File a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can do this online through the USCIS website or by mailing a request to the National Records Center (NRC).

- Provide as much information as possible, including your full name, date of birth, place of birth, A-Number (Alien Registration Number) if known, and any other relevant details.

- There might be a fee associated with the FOIA request.

3. Naturalization Records:

- If you were naturalized in 1972, you can request a copy of your Certificate of Naturalization from the USCIS by filing Form N-565 (Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document).

- You may also request a copy of your stepfather's Certificate of Naturalization if he was naturalized.

4. Consider Hiring an Immigration Attorney:

- If you face difficulties obtaining the necessary records or navigating the process, consider hiring an immigration attorney who specializes in citizenship and naturalization cases. They can guide you through the process and help you locate the required documents.

Keep in mind that the process of obtaining these records may take some time, and there might be fees associated with each request. Be patient and persistent in your efforts to gather the necessary documentation for your dual citizenship application.

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