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Office of Vital Records

Register a Foreign-Birth Adoption

  • On January 1, 2015 the Arizona Department of Health Services Office of Vital Records Lobby at 1818 W. Adams Phoenix, AZ 85007 closed the public lobby. Mail-in services will still be available.
  • El 1 de enero de 2015 la recepción de la Oficina del Registro Civil del Departamento de Servicios de Salud de Arizona, ubicada en el 1818 W. Adams, Phoenix , AZ 85007, cerró cerrada al público. Los servicios por correo seguirán estando disponibles.

A.R.S. § 36-338 outlines the requirements for registering a Foreign-Birth Certificate for children adopted by citizens of Arizona. The Office of Vital Records shall establish a Foreign-Born Birth Certificate for an adopted person who meets the following criteria:

  • Was born in a foreign country
  • Was not a United States Citizen at birth
  • Has completed the adoption process in a foreign country before coming to the United States or one parent has completed the adoption process in a foreign country and the other parent has completed the adoption process in a Superior Court in Arizona.
  • Has been adopted by a resident(s) of Arizona.
  • An Arizona Superior Court, adoptive parent(s) or adopted person has submitted the appropriate legal and evidentiary documents.

The Office of Vital Records will not register a certificate in the following cases

  • For a person who has a registered Foreign Born Certificate in another state.
  • For a person who was born in a foreign country to citizens of the United States.

Name changes or discrepancies with the child’s date of birth

  • Amendments to the child’s date of birth shall not be permitted unless the parent submits a certified court order from a Superior court to correct the child’s date of birth.
  • Name changes must be stated in the adoption order; otherwise a certified court-ordered name change will be required to list the new name on the birth certificate.


  • Documents that are in a language other than English, must be translated into English by a certified translator. The translator shall attest that he/she believes the translation to be accurate and complete and the translator shall sign the certified statement in the presence of a notary public. This statement and signature should be attached to the original document and the translation.
  • Original documents such as adoption decrees, passports, birth certificates, etc., must be submitted to the State Office of Vital Records. A copy of the original documents will be made by the Office of Vital Records, and the original documents will be returned to the adoptive parents. Exception: Original adoption orders mailed directly to the State Office of Vital Records from the court will be retained.

The Registration Process

After the required documents have been received by the Office of Vital Records to register a foreign birth certificate, the request will be processed in the order it was received. The Office of Vital records will prepare a foreign-born certificate in accordance with the information provided in the final adoption order, etc.

The adoptive parents must complete the foreign-born worksheet if the following information is not listed in the final adoption order:

  • Adoptive father’s complete name, place of birth and date of birth
  • Adoptive mother’s complete name, place of birth and date of birth
  • Adoptive parents’ home address at the time the adoption was finalized

The certificate will be registered once all information required for the birth certificate is complete. To receive a certified copy of the foreign-born birth certificate the following must be submitted:

  • An Application for Foreign-Born Registration must be completed and signed.
  • A copy of the front and back of the adoptive parent’s valid government-issued picture identification which bears the parent’s signature or the parent may sign the application in the presence of a notary.
  • Appropriate fee, according to the fee schedule. Acceptable payment methods are: cashier's checks, money orders, Visa, or MasterCard. PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH. Cashier's checks and money orders must be for the exact amount and made payable to Office of Vital Records. If you pay by credit/debit card, you must include the full card number and expiration date on your application.

Upon receipt of the certified copy, the parents shall review the certificate to ensure all information listed on the certificate is correct. Any errors should be reported to the Office of Vital Records immediately.

What Do You Need to Register a Foreign Born Birth Certificate?

Note: Information provided in PDF files.