To make the post-adoption process as effective and efficient as possible, we recommend holding off getting your child a social security number until AFTER you change your child’s name (through readoption) AND get your child a Certificate of Citizenship. By waiting until these steps are completed, you will only need to make one trip to the Social Security Office. Sometimes a family must obtain a social security number earlier (to open bank accounts, file a tax return, apply for the $10,000 Child Adoption Credit). If you get a social security number before getting your child’s name changed and proof of U.S. citizenship, you will need to go back to Social Security after doing so in order to change your child’s name and his/her status from Permanent Resident to U.S. Citizen.
Once you have both the Readoption Certificate (name change) and the Certificate of Citizenship, you complete Social Security Form SS-5 and bring it to any Social Security Office. Bring the following documents with you:
- Original foreign adoption documents, including adoption decree, abandonment certificates, and foreign birth certificate(s);
- Child’s foreign passport;
- Child’s Certificate of Citizenship and/or Permanent Resident Card;
- Child’s Readoption Certificate; and
- Parent’s U.S. Passport.
You will receive a social security card for your child in the mail, usually within two weeks. For more information, visit the Social Security Administration website.
How do I obtain a Social Security number for a foreign-born adopted child?
Frequently asked questions: