Robert Fenn

Q: My husband and I adopted a baby girl overseas and brought her home with us to the U.S. 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) for your child, which you can find online at

• Show us documents proving your child’s: U.S. citizenship or immigration status; adoption; age, and identity.

• Show us a document proving your identity (current U.S. driver’s license or U.S. Passport).

• Show us evidence that establishes your relationship to the child, if your name is not listed as the parent on the child’s evidence of age. The adoption decree or the amended U.S. birth certificate will suffice.

Take your application and original documents to a Social Security office or mail them to us. Documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies. If you do not have proof of your child’s citizenship, we can assign a number based on documentation issued by the Department of Homeland Security upon the child’s arrival in the United States. When you do receive documentation of your child’s citizenship, you can bring it to us, and we will update your child’s record. We will mail your child’s number and card as soon as we have verified your documents with the issuing offices.

Q: I have three minor children and I plan to retire in August 2012. Will my children be eligible for monthly Social Security payments after I retire?

A: A child (biological, legally adopted or dependent stepchild or grandchild) might be eligible. Monthly Social Security payments might be made to your children if they are:

• Unmarried and under age 18.

• Age 19 if still in high school.

• Age 18 or over, but severely disabled before age 22 and still disabled.

For more information, read Benefits For Children online at

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: