Skip to main content

Is it legal in the state of Oregon for the parent to withhold the birth certificate and social security card from the child?

Roseburg, OR |

Is it legal to withhold it when the child turn 18?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. This is an interesting question that have not previously come across. Assuming that the child is a minor and is not emancipated I am not aware of any law that would prevent a parent from withholding the social security card or the birth certificate. Such a withholding could be a perfectly appropriate exercise of parenting if the parent wished to forbid the child from traveling or getting a job. That said, I am not aware of any reason that the child or other parent couldn't march down to the vital statistics office and request a new birth certificate. The same is true for requesting a new social security card.


  2. Why does the minor child need the social security card or birth certificate anyway? Know that both these documents are records that can be obtained from public agencies. You can get a copy of your birth certificate from the office of vital statistics in the state you were born in. You need to check the requirements to order a copy. You may need to be 18. You can get a replacement social security card from the social security office. Don't know if there is an age requirement. I lost my social security card years ago but I had written the number down and memorized it. These day's I don't need it unless I seek a job but I am self employed. I can get it replaced when I need it.

    The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.


  3. I agree with the answers above, but I think the real question was supposed to be: Is there any way for an adult child to punish or take action against a parent who has retained their social security card or birth certificate? And the answer to that is, probably not. I can't think of any way that would be worth the trouble. It'd be much easier just to get new copies.

    A more serious consideration might be this: If the relationship between parent and child is so bad that this has become an issue, then there's some concern that the parent might use the child's vital information in some inappropriate way. I've seen this happen before - parents running up debt in their children's names, things like that. The child may well want to change their social security number, as well as getting a new set of documents. There's a procedure for this, in the event of suspected identity theft. You can start reading about this here: http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/subtopic/c/16,58

    Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: jay@northwestlawoffice.com | Online: www.northwestlawoffice.com