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All Adopted Children Get New Social Security Number: New Policy

Wed 22 Jan, 2020 / by / Adoption

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The wait is over: now we know that Social Security has officially changed its policies to remove exclusions for reissuing numbers for adopted children!

Although we became aware of this potential change, no citation or legal authority was known. We now know that there is legal authority, and the new policies applying to this change are RM10225.060 and 10225.066. The full policy explanation is “confidential” according to Social Security, but it is available (as it must be) through a Freedom of Information Act request. An uploaded copy of the full policy description is found here An uploaded copy of the full policy description is found here (click).

The new policies make clear that:

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1) Any adopted child can obtain a new social security number after adoption (there are no exclusions for older children, children adopted by grandparents, etc., referenced in these policies);
2) The only exclusion for a SSN after adoption is for adult adoptees; they cannot obtain a new number; and
3) If the local SSA office tells you a number cannot be changed, then it’s wrong as the second policy says (verbatim): “NOTE: The mandatory in-person interview conducted when an applicant is age 12 or older and applying for an original SSN does not apply to adopted children applying for a new SSN.” (Emphasis in original.)

It should be noted that the policies state that the SSA clerk is to explain all of the potential problems a child could have by obtaining a new number (words used “exercise caution when taking an application …” and tells them to go through a checklist to explain possible effects), but goes on to say “if the applicant still wants to apply for a new SSN, enter the SSN application in SSNAP.”

So there you go. If you want a new number for any adopted child, then it should be a sure thing. If we’ve assisted you in an adoption, and you still encounter difficulties, please call us, because we have a full copy of the official policy change on file.