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.
An official U.S. birth certificate is commonly used to prove you are a citizen of the United States. If you live in the U.S., getting your certificate may be as simple as filling out a form online and providing a few pieces of information. However, if you are a U.S. citizen who either currently lives abroad or were born outside of the United States, the process can be a bit daunting. No matter what your reason for requesting a certificate, the process may be easier than you may think. Three situations which occur frequently are listed below. See if one these apply to you and find out the best way to proceed.