5.G.4.5 Recording and Certifying Baptism Occuring Before Adoption is Finalized

1. All persons authorized to handle baptismal registers in the Diocese of Lansing are to be especially knowledgeable of the following norms for Inscription of Adopted Children in Baptism Registers, issued November 8, 2000. A copy is to be placed with the sacramental registers in each parish. [1]

2. At the prescription of the episcopal conference, “for children baptized before their adoption was finalized, the following notations shall be added to the baptismal register, but only after the adoption has been finalized and with due regard for the civil law of the jurisdiction:

   a. “parentheses shall be placed around the names of the natural [biological] parents;

   b. “the name(s) [of the adoptive parent or parents] shall then be added;

   c. “the child's former surname shall also be parenthesized and the new surname added; and

   d. “a notation shall be made that the child was legally adopted.”

   e. “Baptismal certificates issued by the parish for these individuals shall give only the name(s) of the adoptive parent(s), the child's new legal surname, the date and place of baptism, and the name of the minister who conferred the sacrament.

   f. “The name(s) of the sponsor(s) shall not be given, and no mention of the fact of the adoption shall be made on the baptismal certificate.

   g. “For future ease in reference, and to afford what may often be the only possibility of reference after the adoption has been finalized, a baptismal entry for the adopted child can be made in the baptismal register of the adoptive parents' parish, citing the date and location of the original baptismal record, and listing only the name of the adoptive parents, and the date and place of birth.”



[1] “Inscription of Adopted Children in Baptismal Registers,” with accompanying letter from the chancellor, November 8, 2000. Cited material from National Conference of Catholic Bishops, complementary legislation for canon 877 §3, approved November 18, 1998 and granted recognitio by the Congregation for Bishops, September 30, 2000. Available at USCCB website.


Date approved by Bishop


Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor