How to obtain a new social security number for your adopted child?

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER FOR ADOPTED CHILD

Once you receive your child’s new birth certificate after the adoption is finalized, it is time to obtain a new social security number.You need to apply for a new social security number in person at your local social security office. You need to take with you the original birth certificate that you just received after the adoption was finalized and a certified copy of your Decree of Adoption. You will also need to provide proof of your own identity. Your driver’s license and passport are both acceptable. You will need to fill out Form SS-5 which can be found online and may be downloaded and filled out before you go to the social security office. If your child received a new name in the Decree of Adoption, then item number 11 of the Form SS-5 should be answered “no”. This is because your child with his/her new name has never received a social security number. After the application is submitted it can take 6 to 12 weeks to obtain the new social security card and number.It is especially important to get a new social security number for your adopted child if your child was in foster care, was older at the time of the adoption, or whose bio parents are untrustworthy. A new social security number will help prevent fraud and misuse.To find a social security office near you, click here.

PENDING ADOPTION:

If you want to claim your child for tax purposes while the adoption is still pending, contact the Internal Revenue Service for Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions. For Instructions, click here.

Don’t Forget Your Adoption Tax Credits

If you adopted a child in 2018 be sure to tell your tax professional because you may be eligible for a federal and/or State adoption tax credit. The maximum Federal tax credit in 2018 was $13,840.00 per child. You may carry forward any unused tax credit for five years. You will need to fill out Form 8839 to claim the Federal adoption tax credit. Your tax professional will be able to explain what expenses are “qualified adoption expenses” and what documentation is required.