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Old 04-10-2013, 10:40 AM
 
509 posts, read 482,945 times
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I wasn't sure exactly how to title this thread...

My husband is currently on his second visit to the Social Security Office to try to obtain our daughter's SS card. We have faced a great deal of difficulty accomplishing this very minor task, and we are so very angry thinking that our daughter may have to deal with these types of issues down the road as an adopted person.

THIS is why I am so firm on not altering birth certificates for adopted children.

My husband went to the SS office with her new BC. He said that her SS card was lost in the mail (which is true- no one ever received it) and he needed a new one. Handed over the BC. The clerk looked her name up in the system and said, "Oh, she's adopted. You need to provide me with your Adoption Decree to get a new card." My husband didn't have that paperwork (nothing on the form or their website indicates this is necessary). He called me and asked for my help. I told him to tell them that the BC with our names on it cannot be issued without adoption finalization, and how do they know she's adopted anyway? Why should that matter? If we took in our other daughter's BC and asked for a new card, they wouldn't request further paperwork. They refused to provide the card or number to my husband, even after I sent him an email containing a pdf of the Adoption Order, stamped by the court. They said they required the Adoption Decree.

My husband went back again this morning, with every single piece of paper we filed with the court, and again faced difficulties. We never received a document titled "Adoption Decree" and instead have an "Order of Adoption" signed by the Judge with raised seal from the court. The clerk again insisted this is not sufficient, and tried to deny my husband from getting the SS card. He handed her everything we filed with the courts, and she said none of it was enough, including both the OBC and her altered BC with our names on it. He asked to speak to a manager, who also gave him a very hard time, but after some info I texted him, she is begrudgingly filing the paperwork for us to get the card.

My husband and I are furious that our daughter may someday experience this type of discrimination based on her status as an adopted person. The clerk told my husband that if our daughter came in at age 16 or 17 wanting to get a new SS card for a job (say, if we lost it- I had to file for a new one at some point when I lost mine), she would leave knowing she was adopted regardless of if she was in a closed adoption and didn't know or not. Now, we aren't in a closed adoption and she will always know, but I want to know how the state knows this in their files on her, and why it has an impact upon her receiving her SS card. Apparently, years from now, she will also need to provide the Adoption Decree (that we were never issued) to get a new SS card. Her new BC (the one that's supposed to keep people from knowing she's adopted, right? Isn't that part of the state's reason for altering?) will not be enough.

Any other adoptees face things like this? I have heard of trouble getting passports (which is up next for us :worried: ) and licenses.

I'm making copies in triplicate of everything and storing it in a safety deposit box this weekend. These are papers that are next to impossible to ever obtain again, and it scares me that it could impact my daughter's life in this way.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:02 AM
 
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Haven't had difficulties yet but there is one last step my husband needs to take with the SS office and we will see if he has any problems. We also need to get passports renewed so I will post if we run into any hassle. Your post is a good one in that I need to get a bit more organized and consolidate all paperwork in a central location. We have everything....I think....but maybe we are missing a few items. Some paperwork is absolutely irreplaceable like notes I took, baptism paperwork, etc. We have it will but just not in the most organized fashion.

Thanks for the post Tiff. I need to get off my butt and get this all organized.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:35 AM
 
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Tiff,

Over the years since 9/11 they have been tightening up the rules and laws regarding a lot of official documents (yes they had a very good reason to do so) but they forgot that there are adopted people.

Some states (the real id act?) seem to be giving "some" adoptees issues with obtaining drivers licenses - I think it has something to do with the date the birth certificate is "filed" with vital statistics that shows up on the BC.

That date "filed" is an issue with those obtaining their first passports. If it is more than a year after birth then their birth certificate is not considered primary id. For some states (CA is one) they will not accept the short form version of the birth certificate that most have and require the long form that to the best of my knowledge no adoptee has. The adoptee is stuck because the info required they cannot obtain - things like a notarized statement from the doctor who delivered them - but he delivered someone else, or a notarized statement from a "blood" relative and they use the term "blood". I think eventually they can get it sorted out, calling their state rep, etc. but not without difficulty. These are older adult adoptees whose adoption wasn't finalized until past their first birthday. I do think some states have different rules when it comes to the filed date for vital records for adoptions, but it has been a pain for some. Not really applicable but the newest requirement is that both parents names must be written out in full on the birth certificate or it isn't accepted - that will affect a lot of people because some only use their middle initial so they have to get their birth certificate amended.

Before the court unsealed my file - I had zero documentation that I was adopted, neither did mom or dad unless you consider the receipt from the hospital bill for my stay. Zip. We never needed to prove we are adopted or to be registered in school and most likely any paperwork stayed with the lawyer and he passed away several decades ago.

Some parents are even finding they need the adoption decree for medical care - perhaps just offices that are over zealous - don't really know but there have been AP discussions on it.

Last edited by Artful Dodger; 04-10-2013 at 11:43 AM..
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:24 PM
 
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Very interesting. I can see why you are frustrated. Frankly, I'd be quite irritated to. I would definitely follow-up with the SS Administration to bring this to their attention. As Artful Dodger stated, 9/11 changed a lot of requirements for documents and there are circumstances that many government agencies never thought about.

I had a similar problem after I got married. I kept my maiden name and took it as my middle name; the SS office required my marriage license, which I thought I had, but it turns out it was only a certificate. I got lucky and had a "nice" rep who went ahead and processed it. I wonder what happens to adoptees who marry and need a new card? Seems like they will have to jump through multiple hoops if this isn't fixed.

I don't believe the closed/open issue would change the federal or state official records. Everything is pretty much automated now, and information is shared between offices that could potentially be stolen - as in identity theft. I can see where some state agencies need to know who is and who isn't adopted and if/when a name change occured. I might look into this further.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artful Dodger View Post
Tiff,

For some states (CA is one) they will not accept the short form version of the birth certificate that most have and require the long form that to the best of my knowledge no adoptee has.

If the State of California wants me to produce the long form of my birth certificate, then they need to UNSEAL it and GIVE it to me!
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
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I'm just curious, are international adoptees issued birth certificates with their adoptive parents' names on them or do they use naturalization documents?
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:35 PM
 
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I think it's the social security program in general. My son's friend had his number stolen, it was in use in California so when he tried to register for college he could not. He went to the SS office to ask for a new number and they wouldn't give him one -- he's not an adoptee, they simply told him if he was issued one already, then he couldn't be given a new number. However they wouldn't do anything about the woman who was using his number. It didn't matter that he couldn't get into college or get a job either -- it was like "tough luck --- too bad so sad" as far as the SS office.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:07 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
I think it's the social security program in general. My son's friend had his number stolen, it was in use in California so when he tried to register for college he could not. He went to the SS office to ask for a new number and they wouldn't give him one -- he's not an adoptee, they simply told him if he was issued one already, then he couldn't be given a new number. However they wouldn't do anything about the woman who was using his number. It didn't matter that he couldn't get into college or get a job either -- it was like "tough luck --- too bad so sad" as far as the SS office.
Wow... that is really messed up. But it's not exactly the same -- adoptee's are denied certain things on the basis of being adopted & nothing more. Usually it is like, "Oh, you're adopted? Too bad & good bye." Or sometimes they give me a number to call where an automated message more or less says if you're adopted, there's nothing you can do.

Tiff, I'm sorry for the frustration this must be causing you & your husband. I'm also sorry for whatever future obstacles your daughter may experience just because she is adopted. Isn't it funny how obvious it is that the system totally fails adoptees, yet so many people want to fight any or all reform initiatives? Clearly it needs a total overhaul in how they handle our records. I imagine as surrogacy & donor conception becomes more popular than adoption this will become even more of a clusterf*** for them.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 04-11-2013 at 05:54 AM..
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:58 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,586 posts, read 23,122,267 times
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Since we have moved from the suburbs of NYC, the subject of my daughter's race - she is Asian and we are white, is more of an issue.

In a department store in PA, we were asked if my daughter's "aunt" wanted to accompany her into the dressing room.

At school last week (in Ohio), she was asked if she was an exchange student.

We were able to laugh at both incidents.

Trans racial adoption does present it's own set of complications.

In our case, they have all been well worth it!
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:04 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,586 posts, read 23,122,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
I'm just curious, are international adoptees issued birth certificates with their adoptive parents' names on them or do they use naturalization documents?
They are issued adoption certificates with their parents names on them. They do not need to use naturalization documents. They are American citizens and they can be president of the US if they so choose - and are chosen.

Adoption trumps country of origin and is not naturalization.

Hope that helps.
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