Among the stack of papers you'll accumulate during an adoption, there's not one more important than the certificate of adoption. The certificate of adoption is a little like a temporary birth certificate. A certificate of adoption is awarded after an adoption is finalized and has the date and place of adoption, the birth date of the adoptee, the name of each adoptive parent and the name of adoptee. It is signed by the presiding judge in the court hearing and is a document required for getting the adoptee a new birth certificate. Receiving a new birth certificate is necessary for legal purposes in which the child will need to prove who his or her legal parents are.
Birth certificates are used for everything from enrolling in school to applying for health insurance. The child will also need their birth certificate for other applications. The certificate of adoption is also paramount in stepchild adoption, in which the child will be issued a new birth certificate with the stepparent's name on it.
If you're adopting internationally, the certificate of adoption may be in the child's original language. In the event of this happening, the certificate will need to be translated and notarized. International children will need the proof of a finalized adoption for citizenship as well as supporting documentation for the adoption tax credit, if the adopters choose to claim it.