In California, only ONE document proving identity and birthdate is required. Acceptable documents include:
- A passport
- A US birth certificate
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Permanent Resident card
- Foreign passport with unexpired visa I-94
There are several ways to obtaining the first 3 documents. For most adoptees, the easiest form of ID to obtain is a passport. And that’s the easiest document to provide for the driver’s license. See here for California requirements.
For a passport, you will need a Certificate of Citizenship (mailed to you by USCIS after the adoption). In addition, you can provide any ONE of the following
- Original passport (which you used to bring your child home)
- Original birth certificate (which your adoption agency may have a copy of)
- Driver’s license
Certificate of Citizenship
When your child was adopted, they were most likely also declared a citizen. As a result, you would have received a certificate of citizenship in the mail. If you did not save this document, you can contact USCIS and ask for a copy. In addition, you can ask USCIS for copies of all the original documents provided for your adoption (your child’s original birth certificate, original passport).
You can get a US birth certificate by any of these 2 methods
- Do a “re-adopt” where you finalize your adoption in the US. Contact a local adoption attorney or agency to learn about the readopt process in your state.
- Bring the child home on guardianship, and finalize the adoption in a US court. In this case, the you will be issued a new birth certificate. This is only applicable to certain countries (Hong Kong, Philippines).