Office of Vital Records

Register a Foreign-Birth Adoption

  • On January 1, 2015 the Arizona Department of Health Services Office of Vital Records Lobby at 1818 W. Adams Phoenix, AZ 85007 closed the public lobby. Mail-in services will still be available.
  • El 1 de enero de 2015 la recepción de la Oficina del Registro Civil del Departamento de Servicios de Salud de Arizona, ubicada en el 1818 W. Adams, Phoenix , AZ 85007, cerró cerrada al público. Los servicios por correo seguirán estando disponibles.

A.R.S. § 36-338 outlines the requirements for registering a Foreign-Birth Certificate for children adopted by citizens of Arizona.

The Office of Vital Records shall establish a Foreign-Born Birth Certificate for an adopted person who meets the following criteria:

  • Was born in a foreign country
  • Was not a United States Citizen at birth
  • Has completed the adoption process in a foreign country before coming to the United States - or one parent has completed the adoption process in a foreign country and the other parent has completed the adoption process in a Superior Court in Arizona.
  • Has been adopted by a resident(s) of Arizona.
  • An Arizona Superior Court, adoptive parents or adopted person has submitted the appropriate legal and evidentiary documents.

The Office of Vital Records will not register a certificate in the following cases

  • For a person who has a registered Foreign Born Certificate in another state.
  • For a person who was born in a foreign country to citizens of the United States.

Name changes or discrepancies with the child’s date of birth

  • Amendments to the child’s date of birth shall not be permitted unless the parent submits a certified court order from a Superior court to correct the child’s date of birth.
  • Name changes must be stated in the adoption order; otherwise, a court-ordered name change will be required to enter the new name on the birth certificate.


  • Documents that are in language other than English, must be translated into English by a certified translator. The translator shall attests that he/she believes the translation to be accurate and complete and the translator shall sign the certified statement in the presence of a notary public. This statement and signature should be attached to the original document and the translation.
  • Original documents such as adoption decrees, passports, birth certificates, etc., must be submitted to the State Office of Vital Records. A copy of the original documents will be made by the Office of Vital Records, and the original documents will be returned to the adoptive parents. Exception: Original adoption orders mailed directly from the court to the Office of Vital Records will be retained.

The Registration Process

After the required documents have been received by the Office of Vital Records to register a foreign birth certificate, the request will be processed in the order it was received. The Office of Vital records will prepare a foreign-born certificate in accordance with the information provided in the final adoption order, etc.

The adoptive parents must complete the foreign-born worksheet if the following information is not listed in the evidentiary documents

  • Adoptive father’s complete name, place of birth and date of birth
  • Adoptive mother’s complete name, place of birth and date of birth
  • Adoptive parents’ home address at the time the adoption was finalized.

The certificate will be registered once all information required for the birth certificate is complete. To receive a certified copy of the birth certificate, an application for a copy of the foreign-born certificate must be completed, signed and notarized or accompanied by a clear photocopy of the applicant’s valid government issued photo ID, with signature, and the appropriate fee in one of the following methods of payment: cashier checks, money orders or credit cards (personal checks are not accepted). If applying in person, cash is also an acceptable method of payment. The adoptive parent(s) will receive one certified copy of the registered certificate. Additional copies of the certificate may be purchased. Please reference the fee schedule to determine the fee to apply for a foreign born certificate.

The certified copy of the certificate will be mailed to the parents. The parents shall review the certificate when received to ensure all information listed on the certificate is correct. Any errors should be reported to the Office of Vital Records immediately.

What Do You Need to Register a Foreign Born Birth Certificate?

Note: Information provided in PDF files.