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Can I Notarize Signatures On Adoption Documents?

New Hotline Resized 3I am a new Notary and work in a hospital. I work closely with our newborn nursery staff, and we often have adoption papers that must be notarized. Am I allowed to notarize these? — A.W., Virginia

Yes, a Notary Public can notarize signatures on adoption papers. They are very sensitive documents and it is extremely important that any specific instructions you are given are followed, as long as the instructions do not conflict with your duties as a Notary Public.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. – The Editors

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

10 Comments

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John Cole

08 Sep 2014

Thank you for this hotline tip. I have built a steady stream of clients who need adoption documents notarized by working with various physicians in the Northern Virginia area. Knowing that I have assisted a potential family is rewarding - professionally and personally. I would stress the importance of proper notarizations, as many foreign countries require a Hague Apostille accompany the notarized documents. If the document is not correctly notarized, a state's notary office will not provide the certification.

Julie Carr

09 Sep 2014

This must be so satisfying to see a baby get parents and it's all done right there at hospital.

Janis Bottorff

12 Sep 2014

I have done a few adoption papers. Two were international adoptions. They required that the notary's commission did not expire for 2 years (I guess since the process can take so long and they don't want any problems). One sent me a picture with a thank you note when they picked up the baby in China, and the other one brought the baby in to my office when they returned to the States. It really is an amazing feeling. So much fun to participate in their joy.

Kathy Fletcher

11 Nov 2014

I would caution the notary to ask if the county receiving the documents require a embosser and a gold seal. Just a reminder to check each time. Wonderful tip Janice about the expiration date of the notary. I have also found this to be true.

Kathy Fletcher, 2013 National Notary Of The Year

11 Nov 2014

Great advice Janice. Notaries I would also like to remind you that there are certain countries that require a gold seal and embosser for the notarization. I always ask my signer if I could bring them. Have a Happy Day to all!

John Clark

11 Nov 2014

"They required that the notary's commission did not expire for 2 years". What? That makes a mockery of the process! If the commission is valid, then the notarization is valid, along with the Apostille for verification if required. Don't be intimidated!

Monica lopez

11 Nov 2014

Interesting...I did not know that a Notary could sign adoption papers!

Dana Allen

10 Apr 2015

I'm interested in doing signings for adoptions. Could someone tell me which companies can I contact, thanks.

Exanna Hellner

09 Mar 2017

where can i find the forms for notary adoptions in texas. We currently have the children both parents are absent they are 4 and we have had them since they were 5 months. please advise

National Notary Association

09 Mar 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but legal questions about adoption forms can only be answered by a qualified attorney. You would need to contact a lawyer familiar with Texas adoption law to answer those questions.

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