Amended Birth Certificate (Glossary)

Amended Birth Certificate: A term used to refer to the new birth certificate that is issued for an adopted child after an adoption becomes final, which shows the new name of the adopted child and the adoptive parents as the parents of the child, as though they are its biological parents. This new birth certificate is placed in the public records in place of the child's original birth certificate. The original birth certificate is then stored in a separate secure location that is not accessible to the public, and may be viewed only by court order.

An Amended Birth Certificate is issued by almost every court when an adoption is finalized. It shows the adoptive parent(s)' name(s) instead of the biological parents, and in some US jurisdictions, it even changes the place of birth to the location where the adoptive parents live.

The amended birth certificate is the legal birth certificate used by adopted persons all their lives... as identification, to get a passport, etc.

One exception in the U.S. (and there may be others) is the Navajo Nation. When a child is adopted, a certificate of adoption is issued, but there are no changes made to the birth certificate.