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Foreign-Born Adoptions

You may register the birth of your child (who was born in a country other than the United States) with the Division of Vital Records (DVR) if either adoptive parent is a citizen of the United States and a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, AFTER filing the necessary paperwork with the Pennsylvania court system. Visit the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts website for detailed filing information or contact your county courthouse at http://www.pacourts.us/courts/courts-of-common-pleas/orphans-court-clerks for assistance and to obtain the appropriate forms. After you have filed the appropriate forms with the court system, the court will forward a final adoption decree and any other required documents to the Division of Vital Records to register the birth of your child. Note that you must file two forms with a county courthouse to begin the adoption filing process. These forms are 1) Certificate of Adoption of a Foreign-Born Child (Form HD01273F) that includes certification of the court (pursuant to 23 Pa. C. S. § 2908); and 2) Statement of Citizenship and Residency (Form HD01275F). These forms can be obtained from the courthouse.

In order to show evidence of U.S. Citizenship, a document that verifies the child's name as it appears on the Certificate of Adoption must be provided to the Division of Vital Records. If such documentation cannot be provided, a notation that the certificate is not evidence of U.S. citizenship will appear on each certified copy issued. Even if the foreign born child satisfies the requirements of 8 U.S.C. § 1431 or § 1433, one of the documents listed below must be provided to DVR to prove U.S. citizenship. If available at the time the adoption is filed, the court will provide either or both of the following documents to the DVR upon completion of the Certificate of Adoption. If the court does not provide the necessary documentation to show evidence of U.S. citizenship, documentation may be submitted to DVR at a later date by an eligible requestor so that a new certified copy of the child's birth certificate can be issued without the notation of non-U.S. citizenship.

  • copy of the adopted child's U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560)
  • copy of the adopted child's U.S. passport

To obtain a certified copy of the child's birth certificate once the Certificate of Adoption has been filed with the courts, submit the following documentation to the Division of Vital Records. If you did not submit the child's U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560) or the adopted child's U.S. passport to the court filing the adoption, you can submit a copy of either document with the birth certificate application. The documents will be returned to you.

  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – You must submit a completed birth certificate application with photo ID and the required fee to obtain a certified copy of the birth record. Click Forms to complete online application or print a copy. Fee may be waived for armed forces members. Click on the BIRTH/DEATH CERTIFICATE FEES bar above for more information.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the applicant's valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived for armed forces members. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.