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How Do I Get an Original Birth Certificate if I Was Adopted?

How Do I Get an Original Birth Certificate if I Was Adopted?

Parents helping their child to walk at a formal gathering

Often times, obtaining your official birth certificate is a standard process that requires you to complete the state birth certificate form and pay any associated fees. However, if you were adopted, obtaining your birth certificate may be more complicated. Once the adoption is finalized, the original birth certificate gets sealed away with other important records, and the individual receives an amended birth certificate in its place.

How Do I Get a Copy of My Original Birth Certificate if Adopted?

After the birth of a child, the state issues an original birth certificate that contains critical information such as the child's full name, time and place of birth, and both parents' names. Alternatively, an adopted child will receive an amended birth certificate, which contains similar information to the original, except the document, which will list the adoptive parents' names and create a new birth record.

Original Birth Certificates after Adoption Requests

To obtain the amended birth certificate for adopted individuals, you'll have to make a request online by submitting the form along with any fees owed to your birth state's Vital Records office. But, for adoptees to access their original copy requires you to access your sealed adoption records. Since each state's process is different, it's essential to contact the county office clerk where the adoption occurred to learn more about accessing your sealed adoption papers

The next step would be to submit a petition form to get a court order to obtain your records. Once approved, you will receive a court date to explain to a judge the reason behind accessing your adoption records. If granted access, you are authorized to view the adoption information and request a copy of your original birth certificate.

What is an Amended Birth Certificate?

An amended birth certificate is not the same as the original but a modified version that contains new information. There are several reasons to amend a birth certificate, such as:

  • After adopting a child.
  • Correcting errors and spelling mistakes.
  • Updating the information to reflect an individual's name change or gender marker.

If you're looking for more on how to amend a birth certificate, you can find more information here.

If You Adopt a Child Can You Change Their Name?

Depending on the age of the adopted child, parents may consider changing the name of their adopted child. Typically, parents will legally change the child's surname to match the adoptive family's last name. In this scenario, parents can also change the child's first and middle name while changing the child's surname. After the adoption process is finalized, a birth certificate name change is issued to reflect the updated information.

Is an Adoption Certificate the Same as a Birth Certificate?

Even though most places will accept an adoption certificate instead of a birth certificate, they are technically not the same. The adoption certificate is issued so that the adoptive parents' names replace those of the biological parents. Recent studies show that when giving an amended birth certificate, several states like Georgia and Florida often change the birth state listed to match the home address of the adoptive parents.

To order a copy of your birth certificate online, check out State Vital Records online! Or, read our blog to get all the latest information on vital records and different state laws.