Adoption and Birth Certificates

One of the final questions we get asked when discussing adoption is what happens with the child’s birth certificate? Is a new one issued? Does the original birth certificate attach to any newly issued certificate? Does the birth certificate mention adoption? 

Upon the finalization of the adoption a new birth certificate is issued for the adopted child. California (or the issuing state) will file a form with the Department of Health and Vital Records.  The form is most often completed by the adoption agency, if applicable, or our law office.  The form is called the “Court Report of Adoption” or “VS44" and is coupled with the filed Adoption Order then sent to Sacramento for the new birth certificate to be issued. The newly issued birth certificate will show the adoptive parents as the parents of the child on the birth certificate. The original birth certificate is sealed and can only be accessed with a subsequent court order by an interested party. There is no mention or indication of adoption on the newly issued birth certificate. In this regard, the new birth certificate becomes the original birth certificate. This process can take anywhere from 9 months to one year after the adoption is finalized.