Q: We adopted a baby girl overseas and brought her home with us to the United States. We need to get a Social Security number for her. What do we do?
A: In general, to apply for a Social Security number for your child you must:
• Complete an Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5), which you can find online at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber;
• Show documents proving your child’s U.S. citizenship or immigration status; adoption; age and identity.
• Show a document proving your identity; and
• Show evidence that establishes your relationship to the child if your name is not noted as the parent on the child’s evidence of age. The adoption decree or the amended U.S. birth certificate will suffice.
In most cases, you can mail or take your application and original documents to a Social Security office. All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency.
Social Security cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.
You might not yet have proof of your child’s citizenship, but we can assign a Social Security number based on documentation issued by the Department of Homeland Security upon the child’s arrival in the United States.
When you receive documentation of citizenship, you can bring it to Social Security and the child’s record will be updated.
Social Security will mail your child’s number and card as soon as verification of documents with the issuing offices is complete. There is no fee.
Q: Can I use the metal or plastic versions of Social Security cards that some companies make?
A: Social Security does not recommend it. There is no need to have a replica of your card. In most cases, the only time you may need to produce your Social Security card is when you apply for employment.
At other times, it is recommended that anything with a Social Security number is kept with other important personal papers. Do not carry your Social Security card with you.
Also, Social Security advises against laminating your card. Question anyone other than your employer who asks for your Social Security number or your card.
More information is online at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.
Send questions to Robert Fenn, Social Security Administration, Second Floor, Federal Building, 2 S. Main St., Akron, OH 44308. Fax: 330-375-5616 or email: Robert.Fenn@ssa.gov.