If you have adopted a child, and if you believe there is an error as to the child’s year of birth on the original birth certificate, the process by which to amend the child’s birth certificate is straightforward. Oftentimes, children in New Jersey are adopted from other countries. As a result, the birth records from the other country are inaccurate. In many cases, when children are born in other countries, they are not born in a hospital, and there is no birth record at the time of the child’s birth. As a result, before the child is adopted by an adoptive parent in the United States, the original country often prepares a birth certificate for the child at that time and estimates the child’s age.
If you believe there is an error as to the child’s age, a bone density test by a radiologist or physician and dental records are sufficient proof of the child’s actual age, notwithstanding any date listed on the child’s birth certificate. A motion to amend the Final Judgment of Adoption can be submitted (usually to the Office of the Surrogate) in order to request that the New Jersey Bureau of Vital Statistics re-issue a new birth certificate for the child bearing the correct year of the child’s birth. Likewise, the Social Security Administration can be directed to issue a new Social Security Card for the child. Thus, once the motion to amend the Final Judgment of Adoption is issued, and the circumstances explaining the child’s true age are identified (including proofs from physicians and dentists as set forth above), the Court will enter an Order amending the Final Judgment of Adoption with respect to the child’s year of birth.