Identification Number:
EM-14023
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/PSCs/OCO/
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Enumeration: Processing Name and Date of Birth Determinations for Foreign-Born Adopted Children under the Accuracy for Adoptees Act – One Time Only Instructions
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Records Maintenance (Earnings & Enumeration)
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM.
 
Retention Date: August 1, 2017

Retention Date: October 10, 2016
Retention Date: April 10, 2016
Retention Date: October 10, 2015
Retention Date: March 30, 2015
Retention Date: September 30, 2014

A. Purpose

    The purpose of this message is to provide final instructions for processing SSN applications affected by Public Law No. 113-74, the Accuracy for Adoptees Act. This law requires Federal agencies to accept U.S. issued documents (e.g., U.S. birth certificates) as evidence of legal name and date of birth for foreign-born adoptees who are adopted by a U.S. citizen parent.
B. Background

    On 02/20/14, we issued interim instructions in EM-14012 SEN that advised offices to hold SSN applications affected by this law. These instructions replace the earlier EM-14012 SEN. Effective immediately, FOs should no longer hold applications, and instead should begin processing SSN applications according to the instructions found here.

    The Accuracy for Adoptees Act intends to make it easier for families of foreign-born adopted children to correct their records. This law affects only a small percentage of SSN applications where foreign-born adopted children provide U.S.- issued evidence (e.g., U.S. birth certificate) that shows a different name or date of birth than what is shown on the original adoption documentation or child’s evidence of age (e.g., foreign birth certificate).
C. Policy

    This law requires us to accept certain U.S.-issued documents as evidence of legal name and date of birth for foreign-born children adopted by a U.S. citizen parent.

    This policy only applies to SSN applications for foreign-born adopted children who:
    1. Present a U.S. issued birth record, U.S. issued court document, or other U.S. issued evidence that shows a different name or date of birth than what is shown on the original adoption documentation or foreign birth certificate. For more information on the U.S. issued evidence, see Section D (below); and
    2. Acquire U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status through U.S. adoption by a U.S. citizen parent as proven by either a:
      · Certificate of Citizenship (N-560/N-561), or
      · Machine Readable Immigrant Visa or lawful permanent Resident (I-551) card showing a Category of IH2, IR2, IH3, IR3, IH4, or IR4.
      If the SSN application for the foreign-born adopted child does not meet the above criteria, these instructions do not apply. Follow existing policy and evidence requirements to process the SSN application. For more information, see RM 10210.010 or RM 10210.015 .
      D. U.S. Issued evidence of name or date of birth

      In some states a person, including a foreign-born adopted child, may apply to a court to legally change his or her name and date of birth. This includes adoptions and re-adoptions granting a legal name change or different date of birth than what is reflected on the person’s original birth certificate, if he or she has an original birth certificate. When the request is granted, the court issues an order for a name change or date of birth change. As a result of these state court proceedings, the state may issue U.S. birth records to foreign-born individuals who petitioned for the change.

      U.S. birth records issued to foreign-born individuals are:
        · issued by the 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa (Not all states may currently issue the birth records described here.);
        · similar to U.S. birth records in appearance except the place of birth shows the foreign country of birth;
        · not evidence of U.S. citizenship under RM 10210.505,
        · not issued by the Department of State (DoS). U.S.-issued evidence is not a Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350), Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240, or Certification of Birth Abroad (FS-545).
      Examples of U.S. birth records or other documentation states may issue include a:
        · U.S. court order,
        · U.S. birth certificate,
        · U.S. Certificate of Foreign Birth,
        · U.S. Certificate of Birth Abroad, or
        · Other U.S. State vital records document issued after a child has been adopted or readopted in that State.

      E. Procedure for SSN application based on U.S.-issued documents as evidence of legal name
        Effective immediately, accept all of the following documents issued within the 50 U.S. States (including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa) as evidence to establish or change the legal name on the SSN for foreign-born adopted children who meet the policy criteria described in Section C.
            · U.S. birth certificate;
            · U.S. Certificate of Foreign Birth;
            · U.S. Certificate of Birth Abroad; or
            · Other State vital records document issued by the child’s State of residence in the United States after the child has been adopted or re-adopted in that State.

        You must also request evidence of identity, in addition to one of the above listed documents since the above listed documents are types of birth records and birth records should generally not be considered evidence of identity. Review all the evidence submitted following the guidelines in RM 10210.210. For instructions on entering U.S.-issued evidence of legal name in the Enumeration system (SSNAP), see Section H (below). If an SSN application for a name change was held, go to G. Pipeline (below).

        Continue to accept the following documents under current policy for legal name changes or legal name corrections.
          · U.S. Court Order; see RM 10212.080 Evidence of Name Change based on a U.S. Issued Court Order Name Change; and
          · Certificate of Citizenship (N-560/N-561); see RM 10212.150 Name Correction on the SSN Card

        F. Procedure for SSN applications based on U.S.-issued documents as evidence of date of birth

        Effective immediately, if one of the following documents issued within the 50 U.S. States (including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa) is presented as evidence to establish a date of birth different from what is shown on the child’s evidence of age document (e.g., foreign birth certificate, foreign passport) or to change the date of birth on the Numident based on one of these U.S documents, request a Regional Chief Counsel Opinion (RCC).
            · U.S. State court order (including a U.S. Adoption or Re-Adoption Decree);
            · U.S. Birth Certificate;
            · U.S. Certificate of foreign birth;
            · U.S. Certificate of birth abroad; or
            · Other State vital records document issued by the child’s State of residence in the United States after the child has been adopted or re-adopted in that State.
          1. Requesting an RCC Precedent when U.S.- issued evidence of date of birth is presented for a foreign-born adopted child
            Check the RCC precedents in PR 02805 for evidence of age precedents. If a precedent does not exist for the documentation issued by the particular State, obtain an RCC precedent opinion requesting the following information:
              · whether the State has the authority under State law to change a foreign-born individual’s date of birth through a U.S. court order;
              · what are the State legal requirements to change a date of birth;
              · whether the court order needs to list the supporting documentation of the change of date of birth on the State court order;
              · if the State has the authority to change a date of birth, what are the documents the State issues as proof of the change of date of birth; and
              · whether the State issues a Certificate of Foreign Birth, Certificate of Birth Abroad, or other Bureau of Vital Statistics (BVS) document as proof of change of date of birth. If the state issues the document under a different title, identify the name of the document.

            Hold the SSN application, while the RCC opinion is pending. Do not enter the SSN application in the Enumeration system (i.e. SSNAP). Establish a holding file for that application. The holding file should include:


              · The SSN application; and
              · Certified copies of all the evidence submitted by the applicant.
            Local management must identify a secure location for the retention of these documents and ensure the file is locked during off-duty hours.

            2. Procedure when RCC renders opinion

            When the RCC renders an opinion, PR 02805 EVIDENCE - Age will be updated accordingly. If the RCC determines the State has the authority to issue the document in question as valid evidence of a date of birth change, take the following steps:


              · Re-contact (preferably by phone) each applicant awaiting a legal opinion whose SSN applications were placed in the holding file, and
                · Review the information on the SSN application with the applicant to make sure it is still accurate and all evidence (e.g., name change, identity) submitted by the applicant meets enumeration evidence requirements.
            Refer to the following chart to determine next action.
            IFTHEN
            The applicant confirms the information on the SSN application (e.g., mailing address) and the submitted evidence meets enumeration evidence requirementsProcess the SSN application.
            There are any changes to the information on the SSN applicationInform the applicant that due to the changes to the information on the SSN application, he or she will need to return to the office to reapply and present the required evidence.

            G. Pipeline Cases

              Effective immediately, pull the SSN applications placed in the holding file based on the instructions in EM-14012 SEN.

              Compare the SSN application and copies of the evidence against the policy requirement described in Section C.

            Refer to the following chart to determine next action.


              IFTHEN
              The applicant submitted a U.S.-issued document listed in Section E. as evidence of the legal name Accept the U.S.-issued document as evidence of legal name. For more information, see Section E.
              The applicant submitted a U.S.-issued document listed in Section F. as evidence of the date of birthRequest an RCC opinion as instructed in Section F.
              The applicant submitted a U.S. issued document listed in Section E. as evidence of the legal name, and the applicant submitted a document listed in Section F. as evidence of the date of birth.Accept the U.S.-issued document as evidence of legal name. For more information, see Section E; and

              Request an RCC opinion as instructed in Section F.

              If the applicant did not submit a U.S. document listed in either, Section E. as evidence of legal name, or Section F as evidence of date birth Process the SSN application.

            H. Entering U.S.-Issued Evidence of Legal Name or Date of Birth in the Enumeration System (SSNAP)

              1. U.S-Issued Evidence of Legal Name

            For an original SSN application, enter the U.S.-issued evidence of legal name in the Remarks field of the Proof of Identity screen. Enter the U.S. document State, name, number, and issuance date.

            For a replacement card application for a name change, select “State Record per Adoptees Act” from the “Name Change Document 1” drop-down list in the Proof Identity: Legal Name Change screen. Complete the fields. If the Proof of Identity document drop-down list does not appear, enter the proof of identity in the Remarks field.
              2. U.S.-Issued Evidence of Date of Birth

            If the RCC precedent in PR 02805 permits the date of birth change, select “State Record per Adoptees Act” from the “Level Three POA” drop-down list in the Proof of Age screen and complete the fields.

            Direct all program–related and technical questions to your RO support staff or PSC OA staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions or problems to their Central Office contacts.

            References:
            RM 10210.010 - Evidence Policy for an Original or New SSN
            RM 10210.015 - Evidence Policy for a Replacement SSN Card
            RM 10205.025 - Proper Applicant for a Social Security Card
            RM 10205.035 - Proper Applicant is a Parent with Custody of a Child under Age 18
            RM 10212.095 - Evidence Required to Process a Name Change on the SSN based on a US Issued Amended or Corrected Birth Certificate (BC)
            RM 10212.085 - Evidence Required to Process a Name Change on the SSN based on a Court Order Name Change
            RM 10210.260 - Definitions for Evidence of Age for an SSN Card
            RM 10210.265 - Kinds of Documents that Establish Age for an SSN Card
            RM 10210.295 - Date of Birth Change on the Numident


            EM-14023 - Enumeration: Processing Name and Date of Birth Determinations for Foreign-Born Adopted Children under the Accuracy for Adoptees Act – One Time Only Instructions - 03/27/2014