TN 1 (10-05)

PR 01325.056 Brazil

A. PR 05-052 Claim for child's insurance benefits (survivor) and disabled adult child benefits on account of wage earner David C. F~, SSN: ~

DATE: December 20, 2004

1. SYLLABUS

To determine whether the children qualify for child's insurance benefits and/or disabled adult child benefits as the adopted children of the deceased wage earner, SSA applies the adoption laws of the State or foreign country where the adoption took place.

Children validity adopted under Brazilian law would be considered the insured's legally adopted children for purposes of considering their claims for child's insurance benefits and/or disability adult child benefits.

2. OPINION

QUESTION

You asked whether Mark M. F~, Gilbert J. F~, and Adrian S. F~ qualify for child's insurance benefits and/or disabled adult child benefits as the adopted children of the deceased wage earner, David C. F~, based on an adoption in Paraná, Brazil in 1994.

ANSWER

Based on the determination of the Law Library of Congress that the adoption was valid under Brazilian law, Mark, Gilbert and Adrian would be considered the adopted children of the wage earner for purposes of considering their claims for child's insurance benefits and/or disabled adult child benefits on his account.

SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE

The wage earner died on May 6, 2002, in the state of Arizona.

Claimant Mark M. F~ was born on June 3, 1979 in Brazil. Mark is a resident of the United States. He has applied for disabled adult child insurance benefits.

Claimant Gilbert J. F~ was born on September 26, 1982 in Brazil. Gilbert became a naturalized United States citizen on January 28, 1998. He is currently receiving supplemental security income on his own SSN and is applying for child's insurance benefits.

Adrian S. F~ was born on October 5, 1987 in Brazil. Adrian became a naturalized United States citizen on June 5, 1997 and is applying for child's insurance benefits.

An adoption certificate from the state of Paraná, Brazil, indicates that all three claimants were adopted by the wage earner on December 12, 1994. In addition, amended Brazilian birth certificates issued on December 12, 1994 for Adrian and Gilbert list the wage earner as the sole parent of the claimant.

ANALYSIS

The Social Security Act provides child's insurance benefits to an otherwise qualified "legally adopted child" of a deceased wage earner or wage earner entitled to disability or retirement benefits. 42 U.S.C. §§ 402(d) and 416(e). The regulations provide that SSA "appl[ies] the adoption laws of the State or foreign country where the adoption took place, not the State inheritance laws described in § 404.355, to determine whether [a claimant is] the insured's legally adopted child." 20 C.F.R. § 404.356 (2004).

Accordingly, SSA looks to the adoption law of Brazil to determine if the claimants were legally adopted. Consistent with the normal practice when immigration documents are not available, we sent copies of the adoption documents and the available birth certificates to the foreign law branch of the Law Library of Congress for a legal opinion assessing the validity of the adoption under the law of Brazil.

The Law Library of Congress issued an opinion on November 22, 2004, that the adoptions of the claimants were duly performed under the law of Brazil. See Attachment A, November 22, 2004 Correspondence from Graciela I. R~-F~, Senior Legal Specialist, to Janice L. W~, Regional Chief Counsel, Region IX.

Because the adoptions were valid under the pertinent law of the foreign country where the adoption took place, the claimants should be considered the insured's legally adopted children for purposes of considering their claims for child's insurance benefits and/or disabled adult child insurance benefits on his account.

CONCLUSION

Mark, Gilbert and Adrian should be considered the adopted children of the wage earner for purposes of considering their claims for child's insurance benefits and/or disabled adult child insurance benefits.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/1501325056
PR 01325.056 - Brazil - 06/09/2011
Batch run: 06/09/2011
Rev:06/09/2011