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When you make an adoption plan, you’ll be able to decide how much contact and information you want to share with the adoptive family. You won’t be pressured to share more than you want to about yourself during the adoption process, as your privacy is of the utmost importance.

With that being said, there are some details you will need to disclose to your adoption professional during the process, as well as some important aspects about the original birth certificate that you’ll need to know if you’re wondering, “If putting a baby up for adoption, do the birth parents have to put their name on the birth certificate?”

Here’s what you can expect to happen during and after signing your birth certificate.

If I’m Putting My Baby Up for Adoption, Do I Have to Put My Name on the Birth Certificate?

There are two birth certificates in every adoption. The original copy will be for you to sign, and the amended birth certificate will be for the adoptive family’s records. At the hospital, the original birth certificate will brought to you, and you will need to fill it out to the best of your ability.

A frequent question that we hear from birth mothers concerned about their privacy is, “If you put a baby up for adoption, do you have to put your name on the paper? Can I put my kids up for adoption if no one’s on the birth certificate?” It’s important to understand that you will be required to put your name on the birth certificate at the hospital. However, your privacy won’t be sacrificed by putting your legal name on the birth certificate; this copy will be sealed after the adoption, which means your name will be kept confidential unless those records are opened at a later date (see below).

 Can You Put a Baby Up for Adoption if the Dad Isn’t on the Birth Certificate?

While birth father rights can vary on a case-by-case basis, you can generally still put a baby up for adoption even if the birth father is not involved in the process and his name is not on the birth certificate. However, you will need to talk to your adoption professional honestly about the birth father to understand your options in your individual situation. If you have any questions about the birth father’s rights in an adoption, or about whether or not you should include his name on the birth certificate, reach out to your adoption specialist or adoption attorney for more information.

Do I Have to Name the Baby on the Birth Certificate?

If you’d like to leave the baby’s name up to the adoptive family, you do not have to name the baby on the original birth certificate. You can if you would like, or you can include a name that you and the adoptive family have already agreed on. During the finalization process, the adoptive family will receive an amended birth certificate, which will include the baby’s new name if they decide to change it from the one included on the original birth certificate.

We often also get asked, “If a child is adopted from birth, are the adoptive parents on the birth certificate?” as the answer is yes; in addition to the baby’s new name, the amended birth certificate will include the adoptive parents’ names. From that point on, the amended birth certificate will list the adoptive parents as your baby’s legal parents.

So if you’re wondering, “Can I put my baby up for adoption if I don’t include their name on the birth certificate?” the answer is yes. Even if you’re not able to come up with a name yourself, the adoptive family will be able to name your child once the adoption is finalized.

When a Mother Gives a Child Up for Adoption, Can She Keep the Birth Certificate?

While the adoptive family will receive an amended copy of their child’s birth certificate during finalization, the original copy is typically sealed. So you likely won’t be able to keep the original birth certificate, unfortunately.

This also means that your child won’t have an original copy of their birth certificate. Their ability to open their adoption record and see their original birth certificate later on will depend on the state they live in. Usually, they’ll have to wait until they’re at least 18 to open their adoption records.

What if I Want to Have a Closed Adoption?

Sometimes, discontinuing contact with your child after the adoption can seem like the best option. If you want to maintain complete privacy during and after your adoption, you can still choose to have a closed adoption. But even in this scenario, depending on your state’s laws, your child may still be able to choose to open their adoption records once they come of age. One of the best options, not only for yourself but for your baby, is to choose an open adoption. Even if you don’t choose to share everything, your child will have a better understanding of who you are and understand their open adoption story. Should they need to know about any family or medical history, they can turn to you without needing to open their adoption records.

It can be scary to ask, “If I’m putting my baby up for adoption, do I have to put my name on the birth certificate?” You may feel especially nervous when you’re concerned about your privacy and keeping your identity confidential. We can assure you that no matter how open you choose to be in your adoption, we’ll support you ever step of the way. If you have any questions about the process of signing your birth certificate in an adoption, you can always ask your adoption specialist for more clarification.