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Tampa Parents: Your Child’s Adoption Is Final, Now What?


The adoption process is complete after a lengthy and time-consuming process. Finally, the papers are signed, and you are officially a parent. Perhaps you have adopted a stepchild or undergone a home study. Or perhaps you have adopted a minor relative who was orphaned? No matter how you may have gotten to this part of the journey, you might have questions about what to expect next. Our attorneys have experience in adoption law and can help you as you navigate the post-adoption process.

Obtain an Adoption Finalization Order

Regardless of whether you adopted a stepchild, adopted a child through a state agency or a private agency, you will need to retrieve an adoption finalization order. An adoption finalization order is a complete and final written memorandum of the details of the adoption, making you the legal parent of your child. If an attorney represented you at an adoption hearing, they may have been able to obtain a certified order from the judge at the time.

If you were unrepresented, you can still visit the courthouse where the hearing took place to obtain the Finalization Order. This order must be certified to be valid. If you adopted your child with the help of a community-based care agency, they are unable to provide the Adoption Finalization Order. If retained, our attorneys at can also help you obtain an adoption finalization order or represent you at a final adoption hearing.

Obtain a New Birth Certificate and Social Security Card for your child

You may need to visit your local county health department to obtain a new birth certificate for your child. You will need a copy of the adoption finalization order to provide the clerk. You also need to show valid government identification. The finalization order will establish proof of parentage and reflect your child’s new last name if it is being changed. In Hillsborough County, the fee to obtain a certified Florida birth certificate is $20.25. Each additional certificate copy is $9.00. In Pinellas County, the fee is $13.00 for a certified computer certificate, and the processing time is approximately five business days. Call the appropriate office first to determine if an appointment is necessary, based on COVID-19 restrictions.

Once you have obtained a certified birth certificate, you can obtain a social security card for your child. This requires a visit to your local social security administration office. You will need a copy of your child’s original birth certificate, his or her new birth certificate, and a certified copy of the Adoption Finalization Order. You will also need to complete a Form SS-5, which is the social security card application. Your child will be assigned a new social security number and card to reflect their new name.

Contact Tampa Adoption Attorneys at Bubley & Bubley

If you are just beginning the adoption journey or you have questions about what to expect post-adoption, contact our Tampa adoption attorneys at Bubley & Bubley. We would be privileged to help assist you in completing your family. Call today to schedule a consultation.



Location & Directions

Bubley & Bubley, P.A. is located in Tampa, FL and serves clients in and around Brandon, Odessa, Tampa, Oldsmar, Land O Lakes, Thonotosassa, Valrico, Wesley Chapel, Lutz, St Petersburg, Plant City & Brooksville, Safety Harbor, Holiday, Trilby, Crystal Beach, Ozona, Apollo Beach, New Port Richey, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Port Richey, San Antonio, Spring Hill, Lithia, Pasco County and Pinellas County.

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