Getting the Birth Certificate Amended Through Adult Adoption

During an adult adoption in California, the person being adopted has an important decision to make: whether to amend your birth certificate to include the names of your adoptive parents. Choosing to amend your birth certificate can be a very rewarding decision because it finalizes the adoption process in a very tangible way. Many adoptees have found that the feeling of seeing their amended birth certificate with the names of their adoptive parents on it to be well worth the extra paperwork.

Here is how to amend your birth certificate during the adult adoption process.

Necessary Paperwork

In order to amend your birth certificate to include the names of your adoptive parents, you will have needed to process the correct paperwork and made it through the adoption hearing. As part of the Adoption filing paperwork, the California Department of Public Health Vital Records Form VS-44 form must be completely filled out and provided to the Court.

Adoption Hearing

The adoption hearing is where a judge will scrutinize your forms and question your desire to perform an adult adoption in order to make sure neither the adoptive parent nor the adoptee is being taken advantage of and there are no ulterior motives on either side.

If the hearing is successful, the judge will sign the Order of Adoption and the Order will be filed in court to finalize the adoption process.

The VS-44 and the Office of Vital Records

Once the Order of Adoption is filed, it will trigger another process: notifying the California Office of Vital Records that an adult adoption has taken place.

This is where the VS-44 form comes into play, as this is the form that the court uses to notify the Office of Vital Records. Any mistakes on this form, therefore, will impact this process and your ability to change your birth certificate.

Once the Office of Vital Records receives the VS-44 form, they will follow the instructions on it, including whether to amend your birth certificate. 

If the Adoptee was born in California and has indicated on the Form VS-44 Court Report of Adoption that a new birth certificate is requested, it will be issued and mailed directly to the address provided by the Adoptee on the form.

If Adoptee was born in a U.S. State outside of California, the California Department of Health will send notice of the Adoption to its government counterpart in Adoptee's birth State.  That State outside of California may then notify the Adoptee or Adoptive Parents by mail of any additional required procedures, fees or forms that must be completed to obtain an amended birth certificate from that other State. That Notice will be mailed to the Adoptee and/or Adoptive Parents, not the Attorney.

If Adoptee was born outside of the U.S.A., Adoptee will not receive an amended birth certificate.  If Adoptee has no birth record with a State in the USA, the adoptee will not receive an amended birth certificate.  In these cases, in order to expedite the matter, it is appropriate to indicate on the Court Report of Adoption that Adoptee does not request an Amended Birth Certificate because none will be issued.

California Adult Adoption Attorney John J. Pearson

Unfortunately, this whole process can take some time, even after the Office of Vital Records has received your VS-44 form. Making sure all of the paperwork is in line can prevent a terrible mistake that sends you all the way back to square one, and the best way to make sure your paperwork is in order is to have an adult adoption attorney help you out. Contact the law office of California adult adoption attorney John J. Pearson online, today.