SSN changes for an adopted child

Q: Our newly adopted baby son already has a Social Security number (SSN). Can we change his SSN to correct his name and show us as his parents?

A: Yes, at no charge. Learn the documents needed and print the downloadable application at http://socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber/.  An easy to follow decision path will show you what documents are needed. Usually you can bring or mail the application with all needed documents to your local office for processing. Once processed, the updated SSN card is mailed to your address.

As a general guideline for any SSN name change, child or adult, documents seen must clearly show the person going from the previous to new name. For example, adoption decrees or marriage certificates often show both the previous and new name. In your case, you must also show the change in parent names. Documents Social Security may accept to prove your child’s legal name and parent changes include the final adoption decree, court order for a name change or amended birth certificate. Separate ID for your son might be needed. Proof of your relationship to your son and ID for you is needed. This might be your driver’s license or U.S. passport. 

Sometimes one document multiple purposes. All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency, not photocopies you made or notarized copies of documents. All documents are returned to you. Once corrected, your child will have the same SSN as before.

 All SSN actions are provided free by Social Security. Protect yourself.  Be sure to access information through the Social Security website at www.socialsecurity.gov. From the homepage, SSN information is in the Numbers & Cards tab.

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