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How do you prove a legal adoption?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

1713. How do you prove a legal adoption?

You can prove the legal adoption of a child by an amended birth certificate issued as the result of an adoption. If the date of a U.S. adoption is material, it may be proved by:

  1. Records of the court that granted the adoption;

  2. Official notice you received as the adopting parent(s);

  3. Records of the State's Attorney or child welfare division; or

  4. The adoption decree (if you have it and voluntarily submit it).

Last Revised: March, 2001



There are 2 Comments

my husband and i have had co-guardianship of her since she was born and we have claimed her on our taxes every year since her birth we have provided for her 100% . my husband passed away oct 5 2007 .I got a lawyer and adopted her .the adoption was finial may 2008 .i signed up for survior benifits for her and social security says she isnt entitled to anything from him but on social security's webpage it states if i adopted her within 2 years of husbands death she would be entitled to it .i have appealed their decesion 2 times i know she is entitled to monies from him .What is wrong with the social security system????? i will fight this all the way and as long as it takes me!!!!!!!!!!

When a child who is receiving benefits is adopted, let Social Security know the child’s new name, the date of the adoption decree, and the adopting parent’s name and address. The adoption will not cause benefits to end.


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