Your Child’s US Social Security Number

Applying for your child’s U.S. social security number is a relatively easy process, considering the mountain of paperwork you have in your recent past.

To complete the application online, print and take to your local SSA office, follow the matrix here.

Locate the social security office closest to you here.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has published this brochure for parents needing to apply for their child’s number (see page 7 for specifics on adopted children).  The following original documentation must be provided at the time of application (it will be photocopied and returned to you at that time):

  1. Proof of child’s citizenship (Certificate of Citizenship or US Passport)
  2. Proof of child’s age (Chinese abandonment certificate or Chinese adoption decree) **children 12 or older must be present at time of application**
  3. Proof of child’s identity (Chinese adoption decree)
  4. Proof of parent’s identity (US Passport, US driver’s license, State-issued identification card)

If you will be unable to obtain your child’s social security number before filing taxes (allow 4-6 weeks for the entire process, just in case), you may request a temporary taxpayer identification number from the IRS.  This temporary number will allow you to file taxes as usual and request the Adoption Tax Credit.  Once you have obtained your child’s SSN you must notify the IRS.

Once you have successfully obtained your child’s CoC and SSN, throw a party, because aside from post-placement visits, the required paperwork is done!

This information is accurate at the time of posting and is intended as a reference guide for adoptive families.  Before arriving for your appointment, please review the Social Security Administration’s requirements carefully!