Applying for a copy of your birth certificate is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is fill out the birth certificate application form for your state and mail it, along with payment, to the correct office. After it is processed, you will get a certified birth certificate copy in the mail. However, if you are an adoptee and need to access your original birth certificate, it can be a bit more difficult.
When the adoption process is complete, the adoption records are typically sealed. All of the adoption papers, including the child’s original birth certificate, are sealed and made unavailable. Then, the Vital Records office issues an amended birth certificate, containing the adoptive parents’ names, and if applicable, the child’s new name as well.
What is an Adoption Certificate?
An original birth certificate (OBC) is an official document issued to a child, shortly after birth, by the state or county they are born in. It states the place of birth, the date and time of birth, the names of the child’s birth parents.
If a child is adopted, their adoptive parents are issued an amended birth certificate (ABC), which is created using information provided by the adoption papers. The names of the birth parents are replaced by the names of the adoptive parents. If the adoptive parents changed the child’s name, that is updated as well. Typically, information about the child’s birth remains the same. However, in some circumstances, this information is also altered. In short, any information that references the biological parents is removed.
After the adoption process is complete, the original birth certificate and all other adoption records are sealed by the court. As a result, it can be challenging for adoptees to access their original birth certificates. However, many people now opt for open adoptions, which allows for open communication and sharing of information among the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the child. In this case, the child and their adoptive parents should have easy access to the child’s OBC.
What are the differences between an OBC and an ABC?
Visually and legally, there is no difference between an original birth certificate and an amended birth certificate. The information is simply changed. An adoption birth certificate is just as valid as an OBC and can be used for all the same purposes, as it includes the information necessary for you to prove your identity. You will be able to enroll in school, apply for a passport or driver’s license, get a marriage certificate, etc. with your amended birth certificate.
However, more people than ever are now desiring to gain access to their original birth certificates. If you are an adoptee, you can learn who your birth parents are from your OBC. In addition, advances in science, technology, and medicine have made it increasingly important to know your family health history. Many people want to access their birth records to gain more information about their family medical history, in order to find out if they are predisposed to or inherited any medical conditions that they should be aware of.
Requesting an Original Birth Certificate
It’s easy to get a copy of your amended birth certificate if you were adopted. You use the same process as non-adoptees. Complete the online form and submit it to your birth state’s Vital Records office, along with payment for the applicable fees.
However, even as an adult, many states require you to petition the court for access to adoption records that were sealed, in order to obtain your OBC. Every state and county has their own rules and regulations concerning this process. So, you will need to contact the county clerk in the county you were adopted in.
They can provide you with more information about the steps to take and provide you with a petition form to request a court order to access the records. However, you should be aware that every state has its own rules concerning how much information you can access. Additionally, adoption records can only be accessed by the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the adoptee.
If your petition is approved, you will receive a court date and be allowed to present your case to the judge. Depending on the state, you may have to provide a valid reason for accessing your sealed adoption records. For example, you may need information about your medical history that only your birth parents can provide. If your request is granted, you will receive access to the records and will be able to request an original birth certificate copy.