Obtaining an original birth certificate is often a helpful first step on the road of reunification for an adopted child and birth parent(s). Sometimes these documents can be difficult to get a hold of, particularly in closed adoptions and international adoptions, however they are becoming easier to obtain with advances in technology and recent legislation. Here are some tips for getting a copy of an original birth certificate.
Research the current laws and processes in place for the state or country you are requesting documents for. In the past, many states have had strict regulations regarding giving out copies of original birth certificates, particularly when involving closed adoptions. However, in recent years, many state legislatures have become more lenient about opening more closed adoptions and making it easier for adoptees interesting in reuniting with their birth parent/s to get access to the information they need.
Most states require two forms of identification. These include but are not limited to: social security cards, driver’s licenses, and state IDs. Many states also require a fee that varies from place to place in order to obtain a copy of an original birth certificate. Once the identity of the adoptee has been confirmed and the payment has been received, they will send you a copy of your original birth certificate.
For international adoptions, the process is quite similar however, you will be working with the government of your birth place as opposed to the government in the country where you live. Depending on what country you are attempting the obtain documents from, the laws as well as quality of record keeping will vary. Following established procedure as accurately as you can will make the process smoother and quicker.
There are also sites where others have scanned important documents into their databases for safe keeping and others to find missing or lost documents. Some charge a fee to access their records, others do not. These sites can be helpful if you are unable to obtain your original birth certificate through traditional means.
The process to get a copy of an original birth certificate can be laborious, however, it is a great first step in learning about your birth family and eventual reunification. Study up on the state or country you need your certificate from, and follow the established protocol to obtain your documents as quickly and easily as possible.