October 30th, 2008
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You are getting ready to finalize on the adoption of your child, or maybe you have just finalized. Now you get the daunting task of changing your child’s name on all the various records. You may not realize how many things you have to change until you’re going through the process.

In most cases in order to change your child’s name you will have to show the adoption decree at the very minimum. Some places may require you to show your child’s old birth certificate, the new birth certificate, guardianship papers (if applicable), social security card, or other forms of identification. Some will allow you to do make the changes by mail or phone. Others will require you to do it in person.


Here is a list of records that you will need to change. This may just be a partial list for your child, but it is a starting point.

School records

Social security card

Your will – If your child was listed in your will by a previous name

Medical records
Any specialists that are applicable
Hospital – if applicable

Private insurance
Medical Assistance – if applicable
Dental insurance
Vision insurance
Life insurance
Disability insurance – if applicable

Financial records
Bank accounts
Education accounts

Library card

Post Office

Passport – if applicable

If you adopt a teenager, things like auto insurance, driver’s license and employment records will require a name change.

You may run across other places where your child’s name has been used that you will need to notify, but you may not remember until you are in the situation at the time.

The sooner you make the change on all applicable records, the less likely you are to have an insurance claim denied or lose other benefits because they are hung up on a technical issue. Knowing that the name change is coming, you may be able to obtain the paperwork before hand and begin submitting it as soon as you receive the adoption decree or the revised birth certificate.

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