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What’s an apostille?

An apostille is authorization issued by an accredited state authority that authenticates the seals and signatures on public documents (such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, or any other document issued by one a state authority), which authorizes that the certificate is official, original, and issued by the relevant federal agency.

You’ll encounter the term several times throughout the process. In general, any official document (like a birth certificate) from the state where you surrogate lives will need to be authenticated by an apostille to be legally accepted in another state/country. The apostille saves some of the authentications required by someone who wants to present a public certificate from one country in another country.

For the most part, an apostille is a simple step where you send the document (like a birth certificate) to the local government registry in the United States (Vital Records) and they authenticate in the records that the document is correct, and authorize it for you with a stamp. Now the certificate comes with an apostille stamp and it will be recognized in another country.

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