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Office of Vital Records

Amend a Birth Certificate After Adoption

Children born in the State of Arizona and adopted in Arizona or another state

Adoption is a process completed by a court of competent jurisdiction. The Office of Vital Records is responsible for amending the birth certificate after an adoption has been finalized. By the tenth day of the month, all adoptions finalized in the preceding month, shall be forwarded by the court to the State Office of Vital Records for the birth certificate to be amended to reflect the adoptive information (A.R.S. § 36-336). If the court does not send the information to the Office of Vital Records, the adoptive parent can submit a certified copy of the adoption decree and the Adoption WorksheetPDF to amend the birth certificate.

When the birth certificate is amended after an adoption, the new birth certificate shall state the city or county of birth stated on the original birth certificate and the date of birth stated on the original birth certificate. The Office of Vital Records may omit the exact location of the birth on the registered birth certificate if so stated in the court order. (A.R.S. § 36-337.E)

After the Office of Vital Records amends the birth certificate, the original birth certificate shall be sealed along with the evidentiary documents (court order, adoption certificate) provided to amend the birth certificate. The sealed record cannot be opened.

The Office of Vital Records may unseal the original birth certificate upon receiving a court order annulling an adoption.

Children born in another state and adopted in Arizona

When the Office of Vital Records receives an adoption, a court order for adoption, a change to a court order for adoption or an annulment of an adoption for a person born in another state, the documents along with a cover letter will be mailed to the appropriate registration authority in the state where the person was born. The adoptive parents will receive a copy of the letter as well.

Retention of Original Birth Information on the Birth Certificate

The state registrar shall retain the information on a person's registered birth certificate after the person's adoption if all of the following documents are submitted to the state registrar:

  1. A written request to retain the information signed by the adoptive parent or a court order containing a request to retain the information on the registered birth certificate.
  2. A written statement agreeing to retain the mother's name on the person's registered birth certificate, signed by the mother, or if the mother is deceased, a certified copy of a registered death certificate for the mother.
  3. If there is a father's name stated on the registered birth certificate, a written statement agreeing to retain the father's name on the person's registered birth certificate, signed by the father, or if the father is deceased, a certified copy of a registered death certificate for the father. (A.R.S. § 36-337.D).

Note: Arizona's adoption records are confidential. If you were adopted and you are looking for your birth parents, or if you are the birth parent of an adoptee and you are looking for your child, you will need to engage the services of a Confidential Intermediary. Please refer to the Arizona Supreme Court's Confidential Intermediary Program web site for more information