by Kristina F. Singh on Jun 13, 2018 Birth Certificate
This happened to Rachel Zients Schinderman, whose father died when she was four. As an adult she was adopted by her stepfather, which triggered the reissue of her birth certificate to replace her father's name with her stepfather's. This was an emotional experience for Schinderman. "No one could take my real father away from me, and someone else wanted to be there for me too," she tells me. Even so, the result strikes her as uncanny. "It is very strange to see [my stepfather's] name there and the age he would have been at the time of my birth." Schinderman understands why birth certificates get reissued upon adoption, but feels alienated by the bureaucratic requirement for such a change. "I just wish I had the option," she says.
A certified birth certificate copy is required for getting a US passport and when applying for Social Security benefits. It is also considered valid proof of US citizenship by federal, state and local government agencies. A birth certificate may be required when applying for some jobs and may, in the future, be required when getting or renewing a driver's license.