If you are adopting a minor child, a name change can be accomplished as part of the adoption. Specifically, the final adoption decree can include the desired new name for the child. This certified decree along with vital records request form can be used to change the child’s name on their birth certificate as well as social security records. Vital records does assess a cost for a new birth certificate. If looking to change your name as an adult pursuant to an adoption, you must also follow the steps for a civil name change.

First, adult adoptees will need to submit a copy of your fingerprints with the adoption petition. Fingerprints can be obtained from your local police department. Adult adoptees also need to supply record checks from the Prothonotary, Clerk of Court, and Recorder of Deeds for each county of residence for five (5) years prior to your filing. Finally, notice of the adoption hearing date must be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the county as well as the local Law Reporter regarding the proposed name change. Proof of the record checks and publication should be offered as evidence at the adoption hearing. Name changes are not permitted for adults in the event of certain criminal convictions.