Once adoption is completed, the adoptee will be given a new birth certificate. But what happens to original birth certificate after adoption? Is it still available with the government and is there some way for you to see it? Let’s find out
Adoption rates in the USA are increasing every year, given the thousands of children who are stuck in the loop of the foster system. According to the recent numbers, 1.8 million children are adopted in the US every year – out of which 37% are from the foster care system and 38% are through private adoptions.
In the United States, each state has its laws regarding sealed birth records and access to them. To gain access to these records, one needs to contact the vital records office in the state where the adoption took place to find out what the specific laws are.
How To Know if You’re Adopted?
Often, some children grow into adulthood without finding out the truth about their adoption, let alone their birth. But as adults, an individual may want to find out the truth about their biological parents or their real identity.
There is no one single way to find out whether you are adopted or what is the truth of your birth. However, there are a few different methods that can be followed.
You might also like to read: Can You Change A Child’s Last Name Without Adoption?
Requesting a DNA test
A conclusive way to find out whether you are adopted or not is by conducting a DNA test. It is a fairly straightforward test where samples are collected from the father, mother and child. If the samples do not match genetic material, it will prove that the the parent is not their birth father or mother.
With advanced technology in medicine and genetics, DNA tests are capable of tracing the entire bloodline of individuals. If your birth or adoption is being kept a secret by the adoptive parent, an individual may conduct the test with another close family member. However, it is not advisable to go ahead with a test without consent from the people participating.
Finding a birth certificate
Check your original birth record. If your birth certificate lists your parents as your adoptive parents, then it is likely that you are adopted. You can also try contacting your local courthouse or vital records office and requesting a copy of your original birth certificate.
This document should list your biological parents. If you were born in a different state than where you currently live, you may need to contact that state’s vital records office to request a copy of your birth certificate.
Start the conversation
If you would like to hear the truth from a trusted source, the best idea would be to talk to your parents about it. Whether you are adopted or otherwise, your parents are probably the closest people in your life.
It could also be a family member. So, starting the conversation about your birth is a good place to start if you want to find out the truth about your birth.
What do adoption papers look like?
The paperwork for adoption process usually includes some basic information about the adoptive parents, the child being adopted, and the birth parents (if applicable).
There may also be other documents required depending on the type of adoption, the state in which it is taking place, and other factors. The basic information that may be required on adoption paperwork includes:
- The names, addresses, and contact information of the adoptive parents
- The names, addresses, and contact information for the birth parents (if applicable)
- The child’s date and time of birth
- The child’s place of birth
- The names and contact information for the child’s medical providers
- The names and contact information for the child’s current caregivers (if applicable)
- A copy of the child’s birth certificate
- A copy of the child’s immunization records
In all forms of legal adoptions, there are two birth certificates of the child – the first one is of their birth and the second of the finalizing of the adoption with the names of the adoptive parents.
The birth certificate is presented as an overview of all the information that will be important as the child’s personal information for individual records, medical records, and prospects.
Does a Birth Certificate Change With Adoption?
In most cases, the birth certificate will be updated to reflect the child’s new name and parentage. It is always best to consult with an adoption attorney or agency to determine what changes if any, will need to be made to the birth certificate.
The process of updating a birth certificate following an adoption can vary depending on the laws of the state in which the adoption took place. In some states, the original birth certificate is sealed and a new one is issued with the child’s new name and parentage. In other states, the original birth certificate may be amended to reflect the child’s new name and parentage.
Regardless of the process, updating a birth certificate is usually a relatively straightforward procedure. The adoptive parents should contact the vital records office in the state where the adoption took place to request the necessary forms and information.
Once the forms are completed and submitted, the birth certificate will be updated to reflect the child’s new name and parentage.
You might also like to read: Can I Adopt My Nephew From Another Country?
What About The Original Birth Certificate? Where Does It Go After Adoption?
Sealing of Original Birth Certificates
The original birth certificate is sealed after adoption and is not available to the adoptee or adoptive family. The adoptee will receive a new birth certificate with their new name and the names of their adoptive parents.
In the United States, most original birth certificates are sealed after an adoption is finalized, because earlier only closed adoption used to be allowed. This means that the birth certificate is not available to the public and can only be accessed by certain individuals with a court order.
The sealed records may still be used for medical purposes, but the adoptive parents’ names will usually be listed instead of the birth parents. In some cases, the original birth certificate may be unsealed if the adoptee is over the age of 18 and requests it.
The laws regarding sealed records vary by state, so it’s important to check with the appropriate authorities before requesting access to a sealed record.
How To Get Access to Original Birth Certificate
If you were born in the United States, you can obtain a copy of your birth certificate from the Vital Records office in the state where you were born. If you were born outside of the United States, you can contact the embassy or consulate of the country where you were born to get more information on how to obtain a copy of your birth certificate.
You will need to provide proof of your identity and a copy of your photo ID when requesting a copy of your birth certificate. There is usually a fee for this service, and it can take several weeks to receive your birth certificate.
Process For Top Adoption States
In the USA, different states have different processes to get access to original birth certificates and birth family name. An overview of some of the main states and their corresponding processes are as follows:
If you were adopted in Florida, you can request a copy of your original birth certificate from the Florida Department of Health. To do so, you will need to submit a signed and notarized application, along with proof of your identity.
Once your application is processed, you will be able to receive a copy of your birth certificate. It can be a good idea to contact a qualified adoption attorney in case you have any questions.
If you were adopted in Texas, you may be able to request your original birth certificate from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The DSHS Adoption Unit maintains a registry of adoptees who are eligible to receive their original birth certificates.
To request your original birth certificate, you will need to submit a completed application form, along with a copy of your government-issued photo ID. Once your application is processed, you will be able to receive your original birth certificate by mail or in person.
If you were born in Texas but adopted in another state, you may still be able to obtain your original birth certificate from the DSHS. However, you will need to contact the state where you were adopted for more information.
You might also like to read: Can An Adoptive Child Inherit From Biological Parents?
One way an adoptee can get access to their original birth certificate in California is through the county where the adoption took place. The county should have a record of the adoption, and they may be able to provide the adoptee with a copy of their birth certificate.
Another way to get ahold of an original birth certificate is through the California Adoption Registry and Search Network (CARSN). CARSN is a statewide registry that can help connect adoptees with their birth families.
Finally, the California Department of Social Services also keeps records of adoptions and may be able to provide a copy of an original birth certificate upon request.
If you were born in New York, you can contact the New York State Department of Health to get a copy of your original birth certificate. If you were adopted in New York, you can contact the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to get a copy of your original birth certificate.
If you were born in another state, you will need to contact that state’s department of health or the vital records office to get a copy of your original birth certificate.
If you were born in Michigan and adopted, you can request a copy of your original birth certificate from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. You will need to submit a notarized application, along with proof of your adoption.
Once your application is processed, you will be able to receive a certified copy of your birth certificate. They may contact the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange. The exchange can provide non-identifying information, such as the occupation and education of the birth parents, as well as medical history.
If both parties agree to be contacted, the exchange will facilitate a meeting between the adoptee and the birth parent. There is no fee for this service.
Does my name need to be on the birth certificate as a birth parent after adoption?
There is no legal requirement for your name to be on the birth certificate. If you opted for a close adoption, your name will never be revealed to the child unless you both decide to join an adoption registry later on.
Will the adoptive parents name be on the birth certificate?
Yes, the adoptive parents will be on the birth certificate. If the child is born in the United States, the birth certificate will be issued by the state in which the child was born. If the child is born outside of the United States, the adoption agency will help obtain a foreign birth certificate.
The adoptive parents will have full legal and physical custody of the child. They will be responsible for making all decisions regarding the child’s care, including medical decisions, education, and religious upbringing.
The original birth certificate with the birth mother’s name will be sealed and kept confidential by the court. The adoptive parents’ names will appear on the new birth certificate.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to write a letter to a birth mother after adoption?
If you’re an adopted child who is interested in reaching out to your birth mother, there are a few things you can do. First, you’ll need to obtain her contact information from your adoption agency or attorney. Once you have her contact information, you can reach out to her by phone, letter, or email.
You may also want to consider hiring a private investigator to help you locate her. When reaching out to your birth mother, it’s important to be respectful and understanding. You should be prepared for the possibility that she may not want to have contact with you.
If this is the case, you’ll need to respect her wishes and move on. Depending on the type of relationship you have with her, you may want to write a letter to your birth mother expressing your gratitude, send updates and photos, or simply stay in touch.
How long are adoption records kept?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it varies from state to state and country to country. However, in the United States, most adoption records are kept indefinitely by the state in which the adoption took place.
Many countries have laws that allow adopted children to access their birth records when they reach a certain age (usually 18 or 21), but this is not always the case.
Some countries do not have any laws governing access to adoption records, which means that the records may be classified as confidential and only available to those with a direct interest in the case, such as the adoptee, their parents, or their siblings.
What does an adoption certificate show?
An adoption certificate shows that an individual or couple has legally adopted a child. It includes the names of the child and adoptive parents and the date of the adoption. The certificate is typically issued by the state or county where the adoption took place.
How can I find my birth parents without information?
If you don’t have any information about your birth parents, you may have a difficult time finding them. Search online databases that match adoptees with birth parents. These databases typically require both parties to sign up and provide some basic information about themselves. Hire a private investigator.
This can be expensive but may be worth it if you have the resources. Reach out to your local adoption agency or attorney. They may have some suggestions or resources that can help you in your search. Posting a message on an online adoptee forum or social media group can also help to trace back a family line.
Adopting a child can be a very rewarding experience, but it is also important to be realistic about the challenges that may come along with it. Adoptive parents should be prepared for the fact that their children may have emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their previous experiences.
They should also be prepared to provide their child with extra support and understanding, as they adjust to their new family and home.
We hope that the information from this article will help you navigate through the adoption and paperwork process smoothly. Thank you for reading!