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Adoption and Social Security (Getting a new SSN after adoption)

Welcome to the Utah Adoption Law Center, where our legal team handles adoptions everywhere from Salt Lake County and Utah County down to Iron County and Washington County. Today’s post is about the three main steps in getting a new Social Security number for your adopted child.


Step 1: Gather the following documents:

  • Get a “certified copy of the adoption decree” to prove the child’s identity. We will provide this to you typically within a few days of the adoption hearing.

  • Next, at the Utah Adoption Law Center, we help you get the “child’s new, post-adoption birth certificate” to prove the child’s age.

  • Get your “original birth certificate” (and that of your spouse if both of you are adopting)

  • Get your “current driver’s license” (and passport, if you have one) to prove your identity.

  • Since the Social Security website is not a model of clarity, we recommend you either ask your local SSA office what they require or gather the following additional documents to decrease the chances of the Social Security worker sending you home:

    1. Get a “certified copy of a recent medical record” for both you and your child.

    2. Get the original “health insurance card,” “school ID card,” and/or “employee ID card,” if you and your child have such IDs.

Remember that the Social Security Administration requires original documents or certified copies. No photo copies accepted.

Step 2: You will fill out Form SS-5 which is available at www.ssa.gov. If the child’s name was changed as part of the adoption, answer “No” to question 11 because the child never received a Social Security card under his/her new name.

Step 3: Take your completed Form SS-5 and all your documents to your local Social Security Office. Take the child with you if he/she is at least 12 years of age.


These are the basic steps for getting a new Social Security number for your adopted child. At Utah Adoption Law Services, we provide free consultation for all your adoption questions. Call or text us at (385) 200-1972 or (435) 592-1235. We look forward to talking or texting with you!




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