Podcast Interview with Jill Cucullu


Reed James: Hello listeners. Welcome to another edition of legal translation podcast. Today’s guest is Adoption Attorney, Jill Cucullu. Hello Jill, and welcome to the show.

Jill Cucullu: Thank you, it’s fun to be here.

RJ: All right. First question, tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you get into Adoption Law?

JC: So I graduated from law schools from Pepperdine Law School back in the 90s and I initially did legal aid on Skid Row in Los Angeles. When I started having a family, I wanted to transition into something that I could practice from my home as well as in office, and so I and a law partner founded Adoption Law Group, which is so cool, I mean just so – such an awesome opportunity to interact with really great people both adoptive parents and birth moms. I did that for several years and then we actually adopted two kids ourselves, and I felt like I needed to take time off from work just to focus on our growing family. And so now that our six kids are all school-age I'm back into Adoption Law and loving, getting my feet wet in it again.

RJ: Okay. And I noticed that on your site you talk a lot about readoption. What is readoption and why is it important?

JC: Right, so when a family adopts from overseas they’re going to go through that country's legal process to adopt the child, and so it'll be whether it's India or China or Ethiopia or whatever country they are adopting from, it’s going to be that country’s laws that govern the termination of the biological parents’ rights that determine the final decree of adoption. And then the family is going to apply for a visa to come into the US with the child. When the family comes back to the US it depends on what type of visa they got as to whether or not a readoption is absolutely mandatory or whether it's optional.

And whether it’s mandatory or whether it's optional it's always a good idea because what it enables a family to do is to get a US birth certificate for the child that has the adoptive parents’ names on it and the child's name on that US birth certificate, which certainly makes it a lot easier for parents when they re-enroll or enrolling their child in school or for medical insurance.

For those adoptions though that it's mandatory that they readopt in the US that's super important and we've seen a lot of issues arising from people who just get busy, they bring their kid over and all of a sudden, they’ve got this child that’s they’re parenting and they forget that there is some legal process to do as well. And then kid grows up and is happy and gr