Around 120,000 children are adopted every year from within the U.S. and another 10,000 kids are welcomed into American families from overseas, according to the U.S. Child Welfare Agency. If you are planning to adopt, you know the mountains of paperwork required, as well as the multiple visits with the agency, hospital, and sometimes birth parents before the baby is born. Amidst all the logistical planning, your child’s birth certificate may not be at the top of your checklist, but it probably should be.
Issued by the hospital after a baby is born, the certificate is almost an after-thought for many overwhelmed parents. But like an adult’s passport or driver’s license, the birth certificate is a key entry point to many of your child’s daily experiences, from enrolling in preschool to seeing a doctor to signing up for Little League.
For adoptive parents, there are several special considerations that should not be overlooked. Here’s what you need to know about the birth certificate for your newly adopted child.
Your child will have two birth certificates.
One certificate will be created at birth, and the other is filled out when you finalize your adoption. The vital information will be the same on both (date and time of birth, etc). The original birth certificate will list the birth mother’s name, as well as the name she gave to your child. You can change this name to one you have picked out on the new birth certificate. The new certificate will list you and your partner as the parents.
The birth father’s name may not appear on the original birth certificate.
“Birth fathers are often left off, depending on the circumstance of the birth mother and her relationship with the father,” says Chuck Johnson, president of the National Council for…