How to Obtain a New Birth Certificate After Adoption

By Steffy Claire

Updated April 18, 2017

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Families who legally adopt a child in the United States are required to have the original birth certificate for the adoptee amended. The amended birth certificate will reflect the new name of the adoptee, as well as who the parents are. The amended birth certificate, like the original birth certificate, will be used to validate birth and identity. The process for requesting a new birth certificate, referred to as an amended birth certificate, after the adoption varies state by state.

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Contact your local vital statistic office to determine what is required to file for an amended birth certificate to assure that you have the necessary documentation. One document needed will be the original adoption decree. Determine the days and times of operation and schedule an appointment, if appropriate.

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Review the adoption decree to assure that the adopteeā€™s name is correct as you would have it spelled. Make sure that your name, as adoptive parents, is correct. If there is an error in the spelling of either name, contact the attorney or the agency that handled the adoption to have the necessary corrections made. The adoption decree must be amended if it is in error. Also assure the adoption decree orders an amended birth certificate.

If the adoption degree has the language, which orders an amended birth certificate and the names in the order are correct, take the adoption decree and other required documentation to the local vital statistic office. In some states the decree, as well as the adoption agreements, is required.

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Complete the application for an amended birth certificate for the adoptee. Be sure to complete the name change exactly as it is ordered in the adoption decree. Thoroughly proof read the application to ensure all of the information listed is correct. Provide the vital statistics registrar with the court order so that a copy is made for their files and verification of your identity. Be sure you get the original adoption decree back. Allow copies of any other documentation required for an amended birth certificate. Sign and date the application for the amended birth certificate.

Obtain from the vital records office, a copy of the application for your files. Before leaving the office, determine how long it will be before you receive an amended copy of the birth certificate. After you receive the amended copy, and everything is in order, store the amended birth certificate, adoption agreements, adoption decree, and any other papers related to the adoption in a secure fire and waterproof box.

Items you will need

  • Signed adoption decree

  • Adoption papers

  • Application for Amended Birth Certificate

  • Ink pen

  • Verification of identity papers


Any errors will cause unnecessary delays; therefore, make sure the application for the new adoption birth certificate is correct before submitting it for procession