Original vs. Amended Birth Certificates

OBC vs. ABC – What's the difference?

I'm often surprised Triad Members are unaware the Adoptee has two birth certificates. While 'most' everyone on this planet has a birth certificate, Adoptee's are extra special – they have two! The certificates may look the same, but there are subtle, overlooked differences. 

*Original Birth Certificate (OBC) is issued immediately after the child is born – PRE-ADOPTION. It contains the child's birth name (if one was given) and the child's birth parents' names. This document is closed/sealed after the child is adopted and can't be accessed or used for legal purposes. In closed/sealed adoption record states, the only way to obtain the child's' OBC is with a court order or through the Confidential Intermediary process.

*Amended Birth Certificate (ABC) is issued after the child is adopted – POST-ADOPTION. It contains the child's new legal name and the child's adoptive parents' names. This certificate is used for identification, legal paperwork, and passport purposes. The ABC is stamped "Amended," stamp dated and filed apx. one year after the child is born and after the adoption is finalized. While there are many factors as to why there is a delayed filing date, the delay is usually due to the lengthy child placement process and adoptive parent home studies. Adoptees and Adoptive Parents can request a copy of the child's ABC through the birth state's Vital Records department.

*Home Studies are required for every adoption, whether it is international or domestic, private or foster care, infant or older child. This study is a basic overview of the adoptive parents' life – including criminal background checks, finances, and even your personal relationships.  The home study must be completed before the adoption is finalized.


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