The social security card has become an important item to obtain early in a child’s life. Whereas many of us never got a card until we had our first job in our teens or early twenties, now it is a necessity to get during a child’s first year of life. The federal government requires that your child have a social security number if you want to claim your child as a dependent on your tax form. Some bank accounts also require that your child have a social security number.

When one has a child biologically, a social security card may be obtained shortly after the child’s birth. In adoption, however, the process is different. You cannot get a card for your child until you have finalize the adoption, typically six months after the child is placed in your home. You can, however, still claim an adopted child as a dependent on your taxes even if you have not finalized the adoption. Contact your tax attorney, certified public accountant or the IRS at 1 – 800-829-1040 for further information.

To apply for a social security card, you must complete and submit Form SS-5 to a social security office. You may obtain the form by telephone (call l- 800-772-1213) or in person at any social security office. After you fill out the form, you will need to take it in person to the social security office nearest you. Other documents you will need are the original copy of your adoption decree, a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate and a photo I.D. Happily, it involves no fees. Once you have submitted your form, you will receive your child’s card in the mail in about two weeks.