Adoptive Parents: We did not use your services but are wondering how our attorney should handle the following problem. My son was issued a birth certificate at birth. Our adoption is not yet finalized and the original birth certificate just lists him as “Baby Boy”. How do we get him a new birth certificate and when should we apply for a social security card?
Answer: While the adoption is pending, your son will use his original birth certificate (issued immediately after the birth of the child). Your adoption petition and the birth parent consent forms prove you are the prospective adoptive parents and contain the name you gave your son. You should use your son’s new name for all purposes going forward. While the Social Security Administration can issue a social security number for your son while the adoption is pending, it is best to wait until the adoption is completed. I recommend that you wait to apply because you want to apply in the name you give your son and as your son’s parents. This is proven by the new birth certificate that you will receive after you finalize the adoption. If you want to claim your child for tax purposes while the adoption is still pending, you can download Form W-7A from the Internal Revenue Service. They will issue you an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (“ATIN”). This identification number is specifically for a child whose adoption is not yet finalized. Please remember to consult with your tax advisor regarding your particular tax situation. Once your son’s adoption is finalized, the Court and/or adoption agency will automatically request that the state in which the baby was born issue a new birth certificate that lists you as the parents of the child. The new birth certificate also will reflect whatever name you have given your son. Upon receiving the new birth certificate, (this can take a few days to a year depending on the state) you should go online to the Social Security Administration and apply for a social security number for your child.