Adoption & Birth Certificates/Records

Obtaining a regular birth certificate is normally a simple process when you work with a vital records provider. However, it can become a bit more confusing when you are looking to obtain adoption records or birth certificates through an adoption process. Whether you are looking for adoption records or a birth certificate after an adoption there are ways to find the information you need. Not every state and or adoption agency has the same standards when it comes to releasing adoption information, so it is important to check with your state or agency to find out there policies.

Adoption records are typically sealed after the adoption is finalized, but can be accessed if the proper steps are taken. Obtaining a birth certificate after an adoption isn’t hard unless you are looking for the original copy. Upon a final adoption, a birth certificate is changed or amended to change the name of the biological parents to the names of the adoptive parents. An amended birth certificate is given to the family after the adoption is final. The original copy of the birth certificate is normally placed in the adoption records and is sealed permanently. It is very common for the adoption records to be closed after the adoption is final, though some states and agencies leave this information open at the request of the biological parents. Typically only the adopted person, birth parents, or adoptive parents can file to access adoption records that are sealed. If you are looking to access sealed adoption records you will have to follow these steps:

  • Go to the county of the adoption and contact the county clerk to learn the rules about obtaining information a closed adoption. You may need to be the adopted person or be of a certain age to access records. Get a petition form.
  • Fill out the petition form and give it to the county court to review.
  • Once a court date is set, meet with the judge to explain why you need access to sealed adoption record information. Normally the reasons must be related to an emergency and not a personal reason. Medical reasons will often result in being granted access to adoption records. The judge will either grant or deny you access based on your reason.
  • If granted access you can either view information or request a confidential intermediary. If granted the confidential intermediary you will normally have to work with lawyer to gain the adoption information you are seeking from the biological parents. If the biological parents are deceased, access to un-sealed adoption records is normally granted.

If you are looking to obtain a birth certificate, you can trust VitalChek to help you. We are a leading government certified vital records provider. Visit us online to learn more about how easy it is to order your birth certificate!

88 Comments

  1. Hi,

    How many days it will take to apply a birth certificate for my son. With your birth certificate can I apply US PASSPORT. I need to travel India with in a month so I want birth certificate as soon as possible. My son born in Philadelphia “Penn Medicine”. For expedite birth certificate is there any extra fees?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello and thank you for your question.
      For the state of PA the fastest option is to go in person and obtain the birth certificate the same day. They have 6 different location with in the state that you can visit:
      Order in person at one of these 6 public office locations: Erie, Harrisburg, New Castle, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Philadelphia. If you no longer are in or near any of these locations then the next option is to order through http://www.vitalchek.com. We are the authorized service provider for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The most expedited processing time for PA is 5-20 business days and then shipped UPS Next Day Air Saver. The Birth certificate fee is 20.00, 10.00 processing fee & the UPS Shipping fee is 18.00. For more detailed information please feel free to contact us directly at 1-800-255-2414 or visit http://www.vitalchek.com.
      To obtain a passport you will need to take your certified copy of the birth certificate to the passport office and place your order. That is a separate process.

      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  2. I WAS ADOPTED AT BIRTH I AM 57 NOW,MY ADOPTED MOM AND DAD NEVER TOLD ME I WAS ADOPTED,I HAVE NEVER HAD A BIRTH CERTIFICATE,I HAVE TRIED FOR YEARS TO OBTAIN A BC,I WAS BORN IN MERCY HOSPITAL IN BALTIMORE MD,I KNOW MY BIRTH MOTHERS NAME AND HAVE A COPY OF A HOSPITAL RECORD OF BIRTH . MY BIRTH MOTHER IS DECEASED,AND MY ADOPTIVE PARENTS ARE AS WELL,I AM IN NEED OF A BC.WHAT SHOULD I DO?I HAVE WRITTEN TO DEPT OF VITAL STATISTICS THEY WERE UNABLE TO HELP.

    1. Hello Vicky and thank you for your question.
      Since you were adopted at birth you would want to make sure that you are entering your information from after adoption. You will not be able to order a birth certificate with your biological parents names on it. If you have already tried to order the record using your adopted parents information and they have been unable to assist you then you may want to verify if you were legally adopted. Make sure you are trying to order it from the correct office. There can be different procedures when ordering a certificate if you were adopted. You can contact the Baltimore office at 410-764-3038
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

    2. I am having a considerable amount of run around and problems obtaining an amended birth certificate. I was adopted 45 yrs ago and a passport accepted birth certificate is no where to be found. I am having difficulty with Albany and Onondaga County moving forward. It feels like every turn is a dead end.

      1. Good morning, Karen. Assuming your adoption was a legal adoption, your amended birth certificate should be available based on the following stipulations:
        – If you were born in NY State and adopted in NY State or in a different state, your birth certificate would be on file with the state of New York Vital Records.
        – If you were born in a different state and adopted in NY State, your birth certificate would be on file in the state where the birth occurred.
        – If you were born in NYC and adopted in NYC or in a different state, the certificate would be on file in the NYC Vital Records office.
        If you need further assistance or have any questions, please email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com and we’ll be happy to assist you.

  3. Hello, I wanted to know how do I go about changing my last name on my birth certificate to my fathers last name?

    1. Thank you for your question. In order to make a change to your birth certificate, you’ll need to contact the government agency that issued the certificate. The issuing agency’s name should be shown on the certificate you currently have. For a name change as an adult, the agency may require additional documentation showing that you’ve legally changed your name. Be sure to ask them what specific information is required once you contact the agency. Thank you.

  4. I am being required to submit verification of my relationship to my son for health insurance eligibility. We adopted him at birth (several years ago) and have the amended birth certificate with our names and his on it. The verification company is refusing to accept this as documentation. Is this legal?

    1. Thank you for your question. The best thing to do in your situation is to contact the vital record agency which issued the amended birth certificate for your adopted son and ask them regarding the acceptance of the certificate for insurance purposes. They should be able to provide you with the appropriate information. Thank you, and best of luck.

  5. this company is a joke tried using their service and had not sent all info needed… so they agreed to refund my 50 bucks yeah that never happened its been a yr or so and still no check beware of dealing w this company they are a scam!!!!

    1. Hello Craig and thank you for reaching out. We would like to apologize for the experience you had while using our service. If you could send us a direct email to Vitals.Research@vitalchek.com listing your VitalChek order number we would like to assist you in this matter. Unless an order is completed VitalChek should not have charged you for the order. We would like to make sure your order was not intercepted by a 3rd party site.
      VitalChek has been the official, government-authorized service for citizens to securely order certified birth certificates and other vital records from official government agencies nationwide. Other online services may not be authorized by the agency issuing birth records, and may charge additional fees without providing approved services or guaranteeing confidentiality of your data.
      Sincerely,
      Nichole H

  6. Hi I was adoped when I was18 months old and I would like to know how do I get my l birth certificate that has my parent’s name on it and where I was born

    1. Hello Lisa and thank you for your questions. For you to obtain your original certificate you would usually have to go to the courts that finalized your adoption to see if that is available to you. Once someone is adopted that previous certificate is no longer a vital record available to be ordered. Depending on the adoption that record might not be able to be released ever. It is best that you contact the vital records office where you were born and ask them the procedure on obtaining your certificate before adoption. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  7. I was adopted at birth in Florida. I now know the name of my birth mother, and she is deceased. If I provide her death certificate, will I be able to get a copy of my original birth certificate? To the best of my knowledge, a bio father is not listed on the birth certificate.

    1. Hello Bill and thank you for your questions.
      Since every adoption is a little different and can also vary by the state the adoption was finalized in, you should start by contacting the courts where the adoption took place. Explain to them your situation and they will be able to assist you best or point you int the right direction. If you are not sure what court your adoption took place then you can try to contact the vital records office that issued your current birth certificate. If you need assistance locating that number please let us know and we’ll be happy to look that information up for you.
      We wish you the best of luck on obtaining your original birth certificate.
      Sincerely,
      Nichole H.

  8. Hi,
    I’m trying to get an original copy of my adoption birth certificate.I was adopted between the ages of 5 or 6. And I have a copy of my adoption birth certificate, however it’s just a copy I would like to have an original in my own personal records. Would I go through you guys and get from you or if I provided you with my copy of the birth certificate would you be able to find me an original?

    Thanks in advance for your help!!

    1. Hello Alexis and thank you for your questions.
      Unfortunately we at VitalChek can not assist in obtaining the original records once someone has been adopted. Once you are legally adopted a new birth certificate is created referencing all of the adopted information, such as, the adopted parents and your adopted name.
      The certificate from before the adoption is no longer available to order and would now be considered a court record and most of time it is a sealed court document depending on the details of the adoption. For further questions regarding your original birth certificate you should contact the court where the adoption was filed.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

      1. Thanks for responding. Now that I’m rereading what I wrote. It does seem like I’m asking for my original birth certificate before my adoption but what I was really asking for is, a copy of my adoption birth certificate can you guys provide that?

        1. Yes Alexis, we can assist you in obtaining a certified copy of your birth certificate. Please feel free to contact our office at 1-800-255-2414 and we’ll be happy to assist.
          Thank you,
          Nichole H.

  9. I know that in California, birth certificates can be changed to show the adopted parents instead of the real parents.

    Is there any way I can find out what my birth certificate said before the change?

    Thank you

    1. Hello Sean and thank you for your question.
      Once an adoption takes place the original certificate becomes a court record and in typically sealed no longer available to access. You would have to go to the court where the adoption was finalized and depending on the details in the adoption they will be the ones to grant you access to that document.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

    2. Hi Sean, here is a good roundup of how to navigate the sealed records system in California: http://www.pacer-adoption.org/search-and-reunion/

      1. Great info for the State of California – thank you for sharing.

  10. Hi I was adopted from Russia about 12 years ago by a family in texas. I lost my birth certificate and trying to get a new one. it has been a hassle needles to say. I don’t talk to my parents anymore that adopted me and they are refusing to let me know where the adoption was held so I can start there. who would I need to contact in order to find out where the adoption was held if they aren’t willing to let me know? are how can I order one

    1. Hello Catherine,

      To find this information out with out any guidance can be difficult. However, I can say just from the rules we have listed for Texas when it comes to adoption and birth certificate filing it states as follows, if person was born in a different state, city, county or country and adopted in Texas, the certificate would be on file in the state/county/country where the birth occurred. With that being said I would still recommend the best place to start as far as knowing where to obtain a replacement certified birth certificate would be the State of Texas office of vital records. They should be able to guide you in the right direction.
      Here is a number that I found on the Texas government site when in regards to adoption –
      Adoption Records Vital Statistics: Tricia Ziegler 512-776-7388

      Hopefully this information will help.

      Sincerely,
      Nichole H.

  11. I was adopted in Florida how do I get a copy of my Final adoption decree from the court ? I did a lot of googling so far I need to write a letter to the courthouse $ 50 fee and copy of my Identification please let me know if this is correct do I need to physically be in court can I mail this to them since I moved away thanks

    1. Hello Rita and thank you for your question. You should contact the court where the adoption was finalized to find out exactly what is required to obtain a copy of your adoption records. They are the ones that can guide you best. Here at VitalChek we specialize in the ordering of vital records such as, birth (after the adoption), death, marriage and divorce certificates from the state and county vital records offices.
      Thank you again,
      Nichole H.

  12. Hi I’m 26 years old . I was in Forster care from the age of 7 . I got adopted in Brooklyn from my Forster mother at the time but she never gave me my amended birth certificate, For me to get her to help me with finding it is pretty hard . I was wondering if vitals records could help or if I can obtain it without her being present some other way? I do have my original birth certificate From before I got adopted .

    1. Thank you for your question. It sounds like the best thing for you to do is to contact the vital record agency that issued your adopted or amended birth certificate and request a copy. Since you are the person named on the birth certificate, and as long as you know the other information shown on the certificate like your adopted parents’ names, you are entitled to request your amended birth certificate. Thank you, we hope this information is helpful for you.

  13. My mom and step dad were married in 1982, when I was very young. He adopted me legally, but my birth certificate was never changed. In order for me to renew my drivers license, I need to show how I went from the name on my birth certificate to my current last name. How would I find these adoption records? I have looked on the county website, and since it is so old, it cannot be accessed. It was not a closed adoption. This was in Orange County, Florida. Thanks!

    1. Hello and thank you for your question.

      When a legal adoption takes place your birth certificate is changed through the courts. A new birth certificate is created and the old certificate, from before the adoption, is no longer available. You may need confirm that you were legally adopted. If you were born in the state of Florida and adopted in the state of Florida you can contact their office directly. Here is the contact information for that specific location and department: Adoption VitalStats@doh.state.fl.us (preferred) and (904) 359-6900 Ext. 9001
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

      1. Hi Nicole,

        My question is similar to Katie’s. My husband adopted my son when we got married. My son was born in Minneapolis, MN and the adoption took place in Illinois. Where should he request a copy of his birth certificate, IL or MN? Thank you, Catherine

        1. Hello Catherine. Great question. According to the State of Illinois “If customer was born in a different state and adopted in Illinois, the certificate would be on file in the state where the birth occurred.” Therefore, your son could contact the state of Minnesota Vital Records to obtain a copy of his birth certificate or he could go to https://www.vitalchek.com/vital-records/minnesota and order it online.

  14. how do i get a copy of my birth certificate? at 3 months old i was adopted from Ebeye (part of the marshall islands) & came to live with my parents on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.

    1. Hello Kela and thank you for your question.
      How or where you will obtain your birth certificate will depend on where your adoption was finalized. Were your parents working with the courts with in the state of Hawaii? If so you can contact the Hawaii vital records office to ordering your certified birth certificate https://vitrec.ehawaii.gov/vitalrecords/ or call their office directly at (808) 586-4533.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H

  15. how so i request a copy of my birth certificate if i was born in ebeye which is part of the marshall islands & i was adopted at 3 months & then lived in hawaii the rest of my life?

    1. Hello Kela and thank you for your question.
      How or where you will obtain your birth certificate will depend on where your adoption was finalized. Were your parents working with the courts with in the state of Hawaii? If so you can contact the Hawaii vital records office to ordering your certified birth certificate https://vitrec.ehawaii.gov/vitalrecords/ or call their office directly at (808) 586-4533.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H

  16. I was adopted as a baby and I’m in search of my birth mother but all I have is her name. I’m trying to find her birth date somehow and thought perhaps my birth certificate before my adoption would help provide some answers. I’ve been told the files are sealed. I’d there any possible way to get around this somehow and obtain a copy of my birth certificate with my birth parents on it

    1. Hello Cass and thank you for your question.
      You would have to contact the court where the adoption took place to find out if there is any way possible and what steps you’d need to take to obtain the information from before your adoption. Typically these records are sealed however depending on the specifics of your adoption there may be ways to obtain information.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  17. hi i have a question my child was adopted without me knowing 7 years ago and my daughters mother signed her parental rights over without me knowing..wow i know right but i am on child support for this child….wow again…. would i be able to get the new birth certificate being that i am the father but my name was not on the birth certificate….ps this is so so so confusing..

    1. Thank you for your question. The best thing to do in your unique situation is to contact the vital record agency in the city or state where your daughter was born. They would be responsible for issuing her birth certificate, and would be able to answer any questions about whether you would be able to request a copy of her certificate if you are not named on the document. For instance, if you have court documents showing that you are providing child support for your daughter, that may be appropriate documentation for the agency to provide you her birth certificate. We hope this is helpful for you. Thank you.

  18. hi I found my old birth certificate with my birth name (Michael J. Festa) on it before my mother remarried after my father died, and I was technically “adopted” by my step dad and my name was changed to his (Mueller)
    I have carried his name my entire life, and always hated it. I had no idea my mother still had my old birth certificate i would have thought they would require it in exchange for my new birth certificate that they printed (mueller)

    my question is what would happen if I went and tried to use my old birth certificate to obtain ID/apply for a new learners drivers license test, passport, etc,
    (PS I am only 23)

    or would they have record of my name change in the system, and when i tried it wouldnt work and they would say we have no name in our database under this name anymore it was replaced with michael mueller..

    what do u think??

    please email me your professional opinion!!
    mikefesta@live.com

    1. Hello Miek – I wouldn’t recommend you use your original birth certificate due to the fact that is no longer your legal name. If the department of motor vehicles did issue a drivers license with your old name this could cause problems for you down the road. If you’ve already had a passport in your correct name and then go to renew it or obtain another one they will need to know how your name legally changed. Along with that it has been suggested that birth certificates issued more than 15 years ago be reordered due to the updated certification that most states have added to their records. If you ever needed to order a birth certificate it would ONLY be available in your current legal (adopted) name. The copy of your original birth certificate (before the adoption) is no longer available in the vital records office.
      If you would like to change your name legally to “Festa” you can have this done in the name change courts. Once that is complete you can provide your legal name change documents to the amendments department at the vital records. They will then update your birth certificate to reflect the legal name change. Doing it the right way will help avoid any future issues.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  19. Hello,

    My fiance and I are trying to get his birth certificate. He was born in CA and adopted in IL when he was 12. His name was changed on his birth certificate at that time. We just need a certified copy of his birth certificate post his name change to get our marriage license. We do not want the original record as that is not his current name and it has since been changed. We seem to be on a wild goose chase and keep getting passed from person to person, all of whom cannot offer solid guidance. Any assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you kindly in advance.

    Laura H.

    1. Hello, and thank you for your question. Generally, the best place to start is the state, county and/or city where the adoption was filed – in this case it sounds like that would be in IL. Since the situation can become complicated, it may be best to contact the State of Illinois Vital Records Office and ask about the process to obtain the amended birth certificate showing the name change from the adoption. In most cases at the time the adoption was filed and the individual’s name was legally changed, the amended birth certificate may also be sent to the vital records agency where they were born (in this case California). We hope this is helpful, and best of luck to you and your fiancé.

  20. Hi there!
    I hope you haven’t already answered this, I did look, just didn’t seem to find anything.
    I’m trying to start a family tree and my father’s mother (my grandmother) was adopted she also died when he was young so he doesn’t remember much. I have found out her birthday, date of death, birthname, marriage, and death certificates. Is their anyway to figure out who her birth parents were? And how do I go about doing it?

    1. Hello, April. Thanks for your question regarding your grandmother’s birth parents. You will first need to find out where your grandmother’s adoption took place. Adoption records are typically sealed so you will have to contact the court system that processed her adoption to find out whether the information can be provided to you and what steps if any you can take to obtain it. Hope this helps.

  21. A friend of mine needs a copy of her birth certificate, but she does not know the name of her birth father. Her mother refuses to tell her who her birth father is, and the agency refuses to issue a copy of the birth certificate without the name of her birth father. She lives in NY (was not born in the city).

    Do you know if there’s an appeals process for situations like this? Either internally within agencies or externally in a court? Or would your company issue her a birth certificate, even if she didn’t know the name of her birth father?

    1. Hello Sarah and thank you for your question regarding your friend’s birth certificate. If she was born in the state of NY but not one of the five boroughs, she will need to reach out to the State of New York Vital Records for guidance. Here is a link with more information. http://www.health.ny.gov/vital_records

  22. Hello,

    I am wanting to order a copy of my birth certificate, but I want to make sure that I have all the information correct before doing so. I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and moved to Kentucky at age 13 to live with family. I was legally adopted by my aunt and uncle in Kentucky at age 17, after being in and out of state care. I have since moved to Tennessee (April 2016) and would like to know exactly what information has been changed on my birth certificate since being adopted (names, dates, cities?). I have never owned a copy of my birth certificate pre-adoption or post-adoption so I am unsure what information I would need.

    A secondary question is: What would be the most efficient way (assuming I have all the information I need) in obtaining a copy of my birth certificate (mail, in person, etc.) since I live in Tennessee? I only need this document so I can obtain a Tennessee driver’s license.

    Thanks so much for any and all information on this subject. Better safe than sorry!

    1. Hello Katee. Thank you for your questions. Since you mention that you were legally adopted, a new certificate should have been issued at the time of your adoption. While your adoption occurred in Kentucky, according to Louisiana Vital Records “If customer was born in LA and adopted in a different state, the certificate would be on file in the state of Louisiana. Therefore, your birth certificate order will need to be processed by the state of Louisiana rather than Kentucky. You may order online at https://www.vitalchek.com/birth-certificates/louisiana. Hope this helps.

      1. Thank you for your reply! That helps tremendously. I have never seen a copy of my birth certificate even after adoption, so would you know exactly what information would have changed? I want to be sure when I place an order for one that I have all the correct information.

        1. Glad to be of assistance, Katee. Your original birth certificate would have listed you birth parent(s) name(s). The post-adoption certificate should list your adoptive parents’ names. When you go to order your certificate, you will be prompted to enter both your mother and father’s names. You will want to enter your adoptive parents’ names. If you have more questions during the ordering process, please feel free to call us at 800-255-2414 and we’ll be happy to assist you.

  23. Hello,

    I have a brother who is 37 years old right now, he was adopted when he was 3 years old but he was born in Mexico. We are wondering if people like himself are issued a Birth certificate after finalizing adoption?. Also, how can he use that in his defense against getting deported?

    1. Hello Francisca. Thank you for your question. If your brother was legally adopted by parent(s) who were U.S citizens, there is most likely a new birth certificate on file in the U.S. city adoption took place. Your brother could contact the State Vital Records for assistance. Regarding his citizenship status as it relates to his adoption, he can find out more general information at https://www.uscis.gov/adoption/your-child-immigrates-united-states.

  24. I have recently turned 18 and moved out of my parents home. Since that time and their disapproval they have been keeping my birth certificate and social security card from me. I have been talking to them for months now about how I can’t get into college without them , they still refuse…. I did just recently receive my social security card using my high school transcripts but when I applied for my birth certificate I was told I needed an identification card which I do not have. I did receive a copy from my school but the South Carolina DMV would not take a copy and I can’t get my birth certificate without an identification card… I am at a standstill in my life right now because I desperately need my documents.   Please If there is anything else I could get or use or what I need please help; any information would be helpful, at least a starting point.  I have my high school transcripts, social security card, and letters from my teachers where I attended school… thanks so much for all your help … I was born in Miami Florida and adopted in SC…are there any other documents I can mail in to prove who I am?
    Sent from my iPhone

    1. Hello Shackira and thank you for your question. We are sorry to hear you are experiencing difficulty obtaining a certified copy of your birth certificate. When you were adopted, your birth certificate should have been amended to reflect your new name and the names of your adoptive parents. Even though your were adopted in South Carolina, your post adoption birth certificate should be on file at Vital Records in Miami. While you are having trouble obtaining a certified copy of your birth certificate without a valid photo ID, it may be possible to order it online and answer a series of verification questions to prove your identity. Please email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com. Include the details of your issue and your phone number and we’ll be happy to assist you.

  25. I would like to obtain a copy of my original birth certificate for genealogical purposes and to search for long lost family members. I was born and raised in the City of New York (five Boroughs) and was adopted at the age of ten (I am now 27) in the City of New York. I currently live in another state. What would be the proper first steps to obtaining this document? Is it even possible to obtain this document?

    1. Hello Stephon. Thank you for your question. Depending on the circumstances of your adoption, you may or may not be able to obtain the information you are seeking. We recommend you contact the court system that handled your adoption to determine if that information is available to you.

  26. Hi

    my name is patrice golson- lindsay i got idopted
    im trying to get my birth certificate and i dont have any idenfication to get it , can i use my brother for idenfication he has my last name which he has the last name which is ( uturah golson) and i thinking could he sign off it since he is my brother

    1. Hello Patrice. Thank you for your question about obtaining a birth certificate without identification. Not all states have the same requirements for identity verification. Some state allow for alternate forms of identity verification such as utility bills with your current address or answering a series of identity verification questions. We recommend you contact the Vital Records agency in the state where you were born to determine if alternate forms of identity verification are available.

  27. I cannot put my daughter on my insurance because my name is not on her birth certificate. She will be 19 in March and i need this done asap! I am her real father but just cannot prove i am 🙁 How do i go about getting my name on her birth certificate so i can get her on my insurance at work?

    1. Hello Eric. Thank you for your question. We recommend you contact the Vital Records agency where your daughter was born for more information regarding the requirements for amending your daughter’s birth certificate.

  28. I was born in California but adopted Florida. I have my social security number and a “copy” (when I went to the dmv they said it was not valid and I needed an original). I am a citizen of California so I can order my birth certificate here?

    1. Hello Maudi. Thank you for your question. Persons who were born in the State of California and later adopted (in California or elsewhere) or had a legal name change can only obtain their records from the California Department of Public Health. More information about the process is available at: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/CertifiedCopiesofBirthDeathRecords.aspx

  29. I was born in Pennsylvania and on my birth certificate it has my mother and my biological fathers name on it. My mother and father were never married.They split up a year after I was born. A year later my mother got married to man to whom this day he is my adopted Dad. I am now living with a different last name that is on my birth certificate. When I was adopted we took our adopted father’s last name. Now I am almost 16 years old and I would like my BC to have my new last name on it and if possible my adopted father’s name too. The adoption and name change all happened in the state of Virginia. How do I obtain this certified documentation so that I can apply for a future job and college applications and even a passport. I would greatly appreciate any information that you could provide me. Thank you

    1. Hello Natalie! Thanks for your question. It sounds as if your adoption was a legal adoption so an amended certificate with your new name should have been filed with Pennsylvania vital records once the adoption was complete. You can reach Pennsylvania Vital Records at 724-656-3100 or 844-228-3516 and they may be able to verify that they have your amended certificate on file. Once you have confirmed the name change has taken place, you can order a new birth certificate online at https://www.vitalchek.com. We advise that you order your new birth certificate long before you need it since Pennsylvania is experiencing heavy order volume. As a result, order processing time can exceed 6-8 weeks.

  30. I have a half brother who was given up for adoption at birth, in Ohio in 1990. My dad was never on the birth certificate, and it was a closed adoption, so I’ve hit lots of walls trying to find out more info. My dad said the adoptive parents were from Kansas City. The mother has passed away and if he ever goes looking, she would be the only person on the original birth certificate. He probably doesn’t even know he has biological siblings. Can you suggest any other steps I could take?

    1. Hello Chastily. Thanks for reaching out with your questions regarding the adoption of your half brother. An internet search on “How to find and adopted sibling” will yield a number of resources. Click this link for a few suggestions on how to get your search started. We wish you luck in your search.

  31. My BC has an A after the number. It is a Louisiana issued record. What does the A stand for. Have searched the web and can not find out. I’m assuming it means that it has been amended.

    1. Hello Ethan. Thank you for your question. You can contact the Louisiana Vital Records Central Office at (504) 593-5100 . They may be able to answer your question regarding the “A” after the number on your birth certificate.

  32. Hello, I finalized an adult adoption this year. She was my foster child from the age of 3-12 and for her 24th birthday she asked us to adopt her. We had an attorney finalize the adoption and i have certified court copies of the adoption. She was born in NY but the adoption was in FLA. How do I apply for her amended Birth certificate with mine and my husbands name on it?

    1. Hello Veronica. Thanks for reaching out with your question. According to NY Vital Records, if a person was born in NY State and adopted in NY State or in a different state, the certificate would be on file in the state of New York. If a person was born in NYC and adopted in NYC or in a different state, the certificate would be on file in the NYC office. Therefore, you will either need to contact NY State Vital Records or NYC Vital Records to order her amended certificate. You can also order online through Vitalchek.com. Please feel free to contact us at Vitals.Research@VitalChek.com if you need assistance.

  33. Hi. My boyfriend was adopted and he has hit so many dead ends trying to get any information about his birth mother or any other information for that matter that he’s become very depressed. He has finally opened up to me and has allowed me to help him find out how or where to find out about his adoption. He was born at U.S.C medical center in Los Angeles, Ca.
    It seems that his birth mother abandoned him immediately after birth and therefore he was subsequently put into the foster system and went from one foster home to another until the age of 4 when his now adoptive parents legally adopted him and a new birth certificate was then issued with the names of his adoptive parents.
    No one knows whether or not his birth mother is alive or dead, or what her REAL name is for that matter. He needs help (several aspects)and I believe that finding out his birth information might shed some light on the things he is going thru but where can we start? No one has been able to give him any information. Is it possible to go to the hospital where he was born and request medical records of his birth? He’s 23yrs old by the way.

    1. Hello Mora. Thanks for your question regarding your boyfriend’s desire to locate his birth mother. Most likely his original birth records were sealed when his adoption was finalized so going to U.S.C. Medical center may not provide any insight. The California Department of Social Services administers a Mutual Consent Program whereby contact can be arranged between adult adoptees and birth parents if each has completed a Consent for Contact form. He can register for the program with the hope that his birth mother has done the same. There are also numerous support groups for adoptees that offer moral support and suggestions on how to conduct a search. Use search terms such as “adoption registries,” “adoption support groups,” “adoption reunion registries,” etc. to find groups that may best assist him. He can also look for support groups on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. We wish you the best in your search.

  34. I was adopted by my step mom when I was 10. I did not want this to happen. I have kept in contact with my paternal mom all these years. I want to have my birth certificate back to the original with my paternal mom back on my birth certificate. I no longer want my step mom on there. How do I change my new certificate back to my original? Thank you

    1. Good morning, Sandra. Thank you for your question. More than likely, it would require a reversal of your adoption to have your birth mother listed on your birth certificate again. We recommend you start by contacting the courts where your adoption took place for guidance.

  35. Hi –
    We recently adopted our daughter from China and need a NY birth certificate to get her a passport. How do I obtain this?

    1. Hello Marisa. Thanks for your question. According to NY guidelines If a person was born in a different country and adopted in NY State, including New York City, the certificate would be on file in the state of New York. If you have questions or comments you may contact New York State Vital Records by email at vr@health.ny.gov or by telephone, toll-free, at 855-322-1022.

  36. Hi–
    I was adopted as an infant in Indiana. My adoptive parents have since moved me cross-country. I don’t have any information about my birth parents, and the only thing I know is my original first name and DOB. I don’t have a last name to use in my search and my adoptive parents are deceased. How do I proceed?

    1. Hello Jehlani. Thanks for reaching out to us. If you were legally adopted in Indiana, your birth certificate should be available through Indiana Vital Records and would reflect your adopted name rather than your birth name. Since you mentioned that you no longer live in Indiana, you may want to order your birth certificate online through VitalChek.. If you have any questions during the process you can email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  37. My uncle was born in 1957 in nyc. He recently went to get a replacement birth certificate. They can’t find any record of his birth. He was told to go to the board of ed to see if they have a copy since he would’ve needed one in order to enroll in school. He has valid nys license, social security card etc.. The board of ed turned him away saying they couldnt find it either. What else can he do? Can the nyc dept of vital records just say “hey, we cant find it, you’re out of luck bye bye”? There has to be something he can do. Any ideas?

    1. Thank you for your question Robert. While the NYC vital records office would be the proper agency responsible for issuing birth certificates for births occurring within any of the 5 NYC boroughs, if they are unable to locate any certificate you may want to contact the NY State vital records office to see if the birth was recorded outside of the NYC boroughs. While the State office does not issue certificates for NYC-specific births, if the birth was recorded outside of NYC they may have the record. If no record can be located in either agency, they may be able to advise you as to what else can be done for your uncle. Thank you, and best of luck in your search.

  38. Hello this may be a tricky one. I was adopted (exactly what age is questionable). I was born in Washington DC, my family is from Lynchburg VA but my adoption was finalized in NY. I have been searching for years now for my birth family but of course I am getting the run around between the 3 locations. I have my adoption papers with what I believe is my birth name on it. Can I get a birth certificate if i know my full birth name? I noticed on the application it ask only for your maiden name and current legal name.

    1. Good morning, Kim. Thanks for reaching out to us. If your adoption was legalized in New York State, your birtch certificate should be on file under your adopted name with New York State Vital Records If your adoption was finalized in New York City, your birth certificate will be on file with New York City Health. You can obtain an official copy of your birth certificate directly through the vital records agency or you may be able to order online through our website at http://www.vitalchek.com. We hope this is helpful for you. Best regards.

  39. I have a copy of my birth certificate from New York and tried to get a passport but it was declined because the birth certificate does not have my parents full name on it. How do I get one that does? I don’t want to pay another $30 for nothing.

    1. Hello Mary Jo. We’re sorry to hear that you encountered problems with your birth certificate while trying to get your passport. Some states provide different forms of birth certificates depending on what you intend to use it for. When you order your birth certificate, be sure to specify that you need it for travel/passport purposes. If you have any questions you can email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

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