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Dependents & Exemptions

Question: I am adopting a child and do not yet have a social security number for the child. How can I claim an exemption for the child?


A prospective adoptive parent in the process of adopting a U.S. citizen or resident needs a taxpayer identifying number (TIN) to claim a dependency exemption and (if eligible) a child tax credit for the child being adopted. If the prospective adoptive parent does not have and is unable to obtain the child's Social Security Number (SSN), the prospective adoptive parent should request an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN). 

An ATIN is available if the child has been placed by an authorized placement agency in the household of a prospective adoptive parent for legal adoption. To obtain an ATIN, use Form W-7A (PDF), Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions.  For more information about the ATIN, refer to the Form W-7A and to Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number.

If the child is not a U.S. citizen or resident, and the child qualifies as a dependent, the child still requires a TIN.  Use Form W-7 (PDF), Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, to obtain an ITIN. For more information, refer to Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Additional Information:

Category: Filing Requirements, Status, Dependents, Exemptions
Subcategory: Dependents & Exemptions

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The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
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