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Adoptive Child's Name Change on Passport

by Celine
(Thousand Oaks, CA)

Question: As a foster parent, we applied for our little girl's passport last year under her legal name at the time and as foster parents.


We just completed adoption and therefore, need to change her name on passport and Social Security card. We do not have the new/revised birth certificate yet, but we do have the court order which shows us as legal parents.

We do not want to send the original paperwork as we only have few copies and need to keep them until we get a birth certificate.

How do we go about this?

Aside from fees and pictures, how can I get the required documents? The State won't issue additional original adoption certificates.

Thank you

Answer: Besides the normal requirements for a child's passport, you must submit the following items in order to obtain a passport for an adopted child.

1. A certified copy of the child’s original birth certificate;
2. A certified copy of the signed Adoption Order/Decree;
3. A copy of the signed Adoption Agreement (California only).

You may file a petition with the court clerk to ask the court for permission to obtain copies from the adoption file. Contact the court where the adoption was granted.

Superior Court of California

You can use a Tyvek envelope to protect the contents and a traceable delivery method to ensure the arrival of your documents such as USPS Priority Mail or USPS Express Mail (for overnight delivery).

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