Apostille, Notary, Certified Copy

What is an Apostille?

An “apostille” is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. A list of countries that accept apostilles is provided by the US State Department.

If the country of intended use does not participate in the Hague Convention, documents being sent to that country may need to be “authenticated” or “certified”.

The Office of the Secretary of State provides apostille and authentication service to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals on documents that will be used overseas.  The U.S. State Department provides general information about document authentications and apostilles under the Hague Convention of 1961.   Apostille information on a state by state basis is listed below:

Alabama Alaska Arkansas Arizona
California Colorado Connecticut Delaware
Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho
Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada
New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York
North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah
Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia
Wisconsin Wyoming
For Federal Apostilles from the US Department of State: Click here 

Note: Kids To Adopt is providing this information as a courtesy for your reference only and does not guarantee its accuracy. 

What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is a public officer who serves as an impartial witness to the signing of documents and to the acknowledgement of signatures on documents.  A Notary Public may also administer oaths and affirmations.  A duly appointed Notary Public is authorized to perform notary services throughout the state in which they are appointed.  In the adoption process, many documents will require notarization by a Notary Public.  Identification will be required by the Notary Public to verify that you are the person named in the document.  After notarization, many documents will also need to be Apostilled. (see above)  Some Notary Publics charge a small fee for their services.  Check with your bank as many provide free notary services.  There are also mobile notary services that come to you!

What is a Certified copy?

A certified copy is a duplicate of an original document that is certified as a true copy by the officer having custody of the original.  Some notaries are prohibited from issuing certified copies of any records or documents. Requests for certified copies should be directed to the agency that holds or issued the original.