To obtain a new birth certificate following an adoption in Texas, the process involves a series of well-defined steps and requires several specific documents. Here is a structured overview to guide you through the submission of these documents and steps:
Itemized List of Submissions for New Birth Certificates:
Certified Certificate of Adoption (VS-160): Must be complete and certified by the district clerk.
Certified Copy of the Final Decree of Adoption: An additional copy is recommended for personal records.
Photo ID(s): Copies of valid photo identification for all adopting parents.
Texas Birth Certificate Application: Completed and notarized for each child.
A check for payment to process the application: Payment by check will give you a “V number” to track your application.
Step 1: Start by getting the Certificate of Adoption, also known as the VS-160 form, filled out and certified by the court (it does not need to be certified by the court if you have a certified copy of the final decree to mail in with the application). This is an important document that affirms the legal adoption.
Step 2: Ensure you have a certified copy of the Final Decree of Adoption. Keeping an extra copy for your records is a good idea since this document is crucial.
Step 3: Prepare your payment. Write a check for $62.00 for each child, which breaks down to $25.00 for the filing fee, $22.00 for a certified copy of the corrected birth record, and $15.00 for the Central Adoption Registry Fee. These cover the fees needed to process the new birth certificate. Payment by check will give you a “V number,” which can be used to track your application’s progress.
Step 4: Fill out the child's Texas Birth Certificate Application form. Remember to get this notarized if you’re mailing the application without a certified copy of the final decree.
Step 5: Now gather all your documents. This includes the certified Certificate of Adoption, the Final Decree of Adoption, photo IDs, the completed birth certificate application, and the check. You must mail these to the Texas Vital Statistics Unit in Austin.
Step 6: Send your packet of documents to the Texas Vital Statistics Unit. Although our firm used to hand-deliver these documents for quicker processing, the rules have changed. Now, it’s required that adopting parents send these themselves directly through the mail.
For regular mailing (6-8 weeks processing time):
Submit your application, supporting documents, and fees to DSHS – Vital Statistics Section, P.O. Box 12040, Austin, TX 78711-2040
For Expedited Service Mailing (20-25 business days processing time):
The order and processing fee of $5.00, as well as the five documents previously stated, will need to be sent via OVERNIGHT MAIL SERVICE such as UPS, Fed Ex, etc., to DSHS – Vital Statistics Section, MC 2096, 1100W. 49th Street, Austin, TX 78756
Step 7: Keep an eye out for your application’s progress. The check number, known as the V number, is your key to tracking it.
Step 8: Congratulations! The new birth certificate should be delivered to you as the final step.
Vital Statistics will let you know what went wrong if there are any hiccups where your application is rejected. You’ll need to correct any issues, and then you can resubmit the application. Keep in mind that the processing clock resets with each new submission.
At Sims & Purzer, PLLC, we understand the importance of providing our clients with not just legal guidance, but also emotional support throughout the legal process. Our experienced attorneys have a positive and empathetic attitude towards our clients, which allows us to build strong relationships and help our clients get to the finish line with comfort and confidence.
If you have concerns related to adoption, divorce, child custody, or any other Family Law legal issue, we are here to help. Don't hesitate to give us a call at (210)-226-2227 and schedule a consultation with our firm. We'll be happy to answer your questions and provide you with the legal support you need to move forward with your case.