The Adoption Birth Certificate: What You Need to Know

Adoptive couple excited about their baby's birth certificate signingOnce you adopt, your child will need a new birth certificate. This birth certificate is important because it’s needed to get your child seen at the doctor’s office and it allows your child entrance into a public school. Additionally, your child will need a birth certificate, later in life, to apply for a job, get a driver’s license, and apply for a passport.

So, it’s important you understand the process.

A birth certificate is an official birth record. It includes:

  • The baby’s full name
  • Place of birth: city, county and state
  • Date of birth
  • Time of birth
  • Your child’s birth father’s name (depending upon the relationship he had with the birth mother.)

Do Birth Certificates Change After Adoption?

Every adopted child receives a birth certificate when they’re born. Then, after the baby gets adopted, the birth certificate is amended. In place of the birth parents’ names, the adoptive parents’ names are listed.

The new birth certificate will also include the child’s new name, if it has changed. Furthermore, the original birth certificate is sealed at the time of adoption and kept confidential by the state. Then an amended adoption birth certificate is given to the family after the adoption is final. Also good to note is that only the adoptee, birth parents, or adoptive parents are allowed to access adoption records if they’re sealed.

How Long Does It Take To Get A New Birth Certificate After the Adoption?

Depending upon your state, getting your newly adopted child’s new birth certificate can take anywhere from two weeks to four months. Additionally, the adoption won’t be listed on the new birth certificate, but it will list the state where your child was born. Sometimes this is often the only sign that an adoption took place.

Today, 90% of domestic adoption are open adoptions. This means there is contact between the birth mother and adoptive parents. In an open adoption, adoptive parents may have a copy of both the original birth certificate and adoption birth certificate. Often, there’s an open adoption agreement between the birth mother and the adoptive parents to exchange regular letters, photos, and sometimes visits. Also, depending upon both parties, the birth mother and adoptive parents may agree that at a certain age they will allow their child to connect with his or her birth mother.

What About A Birth Certificate For an Internationally Adopted Child?

Adopting your child in a foreign country is legally acceptable, though some state courts won’t recognize a foreign adoption decree. Therefore, experts suggest you adopt your child overseas, then re-adopt the child in the state’s court where you live.

After the re-adoption, parents can request a state birth certificate. Although re-adopting your child isn’t always a requirement, it can make it easier to get a birth certificate and help offset problems for your child in the future.

Is My Child Able to Access Their Original Birth Certificate?

When adopted individuals reach adulthood they may want to get their original birth certificate. birth certificate and pens ready to sign
However, to get your sealed original birth certificate, you must file a petition with the county clerk’s office in the county where you were adopted. In addition, the petition requires a reason for wanting your original birth certificate. Often a health issue is the most common reason adoptees can obtain their sealed birth certificate. However, if your birth parents are deceased, you’ll also be able to get your sealed birth certificate.

What If I Can’t Access My Original Birth Certificate?

If you can’t get access to your adoption records and original birth certificate, you might join an adoption registry website, search the adoption registry in your state, or search the registry in the state you believe you were born in.

Try 23 and Me for DNA family matching because you may find someone looking for you: a birth mother, grandparents or siblings. Then connecting with these birth relatives might help you to piece together your story.

Why Do I Need A Birth Certificate?

Your birth certificate is necessary for you to have access to many things in life. Here are some reasons you need it:

  • Identifying documents: you’ll often need to show your birth certificate for proof of your citizenship.
  • Obtaining a driver’s license
  • Applying for your marriage certificate
  • Receiving social security
  • Registering for school
  • Traveling overseas

Do Mistakes Occur on New Adoption Birth Certificates?

There are several states known to regularly make changes on the newly amended adoption birth certificates. For example, according to research conducted by Kate Workman, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina routinely change the place of birth to the adoptive parents’ town rather than the adopted child’s actual place of birth. Additionally, these states have been known to change the date of birth. It’s important to check the new birth certificate to see if all the information is correct. Because if your child’s date of birth is wrong, this could be a big problem for your child down the road.

Mistakes can happen in the processing of the new adoption birth certificates. Although fortunately, you can make changes to correct the information. The Department of Vital Records, which is responsible for keeping and issuing the birth certificate, can help you. First, contact the correction/amendments department at the vital records office in the state where your child was issued their amended birth certificate. Because they can help you make the changes. Before you begin, you may need to gather identification items, and other forms to make the changes. However, this process will vary from state to state.

To sum it up, your adopted child will receive a birth certificate. Then after the adoption, this original birth certificate gets amended. This new birth certificate includes the adoptive parents’ names added in place of the birth parents’ names.

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“Dear Veronica, We will be eternally grateful for the part you played in helping us match with our daughter’s birth mom and forming our forever family! Our prayers often include you and the rest of the staff at Lifetime!”
Tricia and Roger



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