One thing that can often concern birth parents when they give up a baby for adoption is what information is on the child’s birth certificate. Do their names need to be on the birth certificate or does this information change on the completion of an adoption? During the course of the adoption you will of course be asked to give some degree of personal information. This is for the benefit of your baby who may in the future need access to potentially important information.
The short answer is yes, a birth certificate will change on adoption, but here we look at the ins and outs of adoption paperwork.
Do I have to put my name on the paperwork if I put my baby up for adoption?
Yes, when you put your baby up for adoption you will need to put your name on the paperwork. In fact, you will need to allow access to some personal information as well. This is needed for the wellbeing and long-term health of your baby – and will contain information like your social and medical history. Access to this information will however be limited. It will be sealed, and only the child or adoptive parents will be given access to any necessary information.
At The Adoption Alliance we understand how difficult the decisions you must make can be, but it is important that your child has access to information that could potentially be life-saving in a medical situation.
Does my name need to be on the birth certificate?
The birth certificate that you will sign at the hospital will need to have your name on it. But this original birth certificate, together with your name, will eventually be sealed; making it private. If the birth father is not involved in the adoption process than then you do not have to put his name on the birth certificate. However, you can choose to include it.
Following the birth, the birth certificate will be brought to you for a signature. This is when you can choose to add the father’s name if you wish. You don’t need to add a name for the baby to the certificate, but again this is your choice. If you want to you can, but often the adoptive parents want to choose the name. In some cases, it may be something you will have chosen together.
We are with you every step of the way and will discuss what to expect with you before your baby is born so that you are aware of the process.
Will the adoptive parents be on the birth certificate?
In the cases of adoption, the birth certificate is not changed. There will always be the original birth certificate that contains the details of the birth mother, and if appropriate the birth father. A second birth certificate is issued, and this one will contain the names of the adoptive parents and is referred to as the amended birth certificate.
This amended birth certificate is passed to the adoptive parents a couple of months after the baby is placed with them. It does not contain the names of the birth parents so that their privacy is protected. If the birth mother has given the baby a name and the adoptive parents have chosen to use a different name, then this new name will appear on the amended birth certificate.
What happens to the original birth certificate?
Some birth parents want to keep this original birth certificate, but this is simply not possible. The original birth certificate is sealed by the court in order to protect the privacy of the child and birth parents.
These days the majority of adoptions that take place are, at least to some extent, open rather than closed. This means that the adopted child is aware that they were adopted, and, in many cases, they know the identity or partial identity of their birth parents. It is less common for these adopted children to need to turn to their original birth certificate in order to learn about their birth mother. In many cases the adoptive family and birth parents remain in touch through an open adoption.
If you are concerned about the amount of information that is given out in your adoption then you can opt to go for a closed adoption. This type of adoption allows for your identity to be kept secret from both the adoptive parents and the child. It is important to remember, however, that even with a closed adoption in the state of Texas the adopted child is able to request and obtain a redacted copy of their original birth certificate as a part of their adoption records. This is done by making a request to see the records. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services will need to have been involved in the adoption in order for this to be honoured.
The adoptive child is however not able to request this information until they reach the age of 18. New regulations are now in place that mean you can include information with the original birth certificate that say whether you do or do not wish to be contacted by your child should they choose to find out more about their birth parents. The original birth certificate together with any identifying information that you give during the adoption is only available to your child, and only as an adult.
Privacy in an adoption
At The Adoption Alliance we understand that privacy can be a concern for birth parents when considering an adoption, and we can talk you through any concerns that you might have in order to make the entire adoption process as smooth as possible.