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New York StateUnified Court System

Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga & Oswego Counties

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Oncenter address and how do I get there?
Oncenter Complex
800 South State Street
Syracuse, New York 13202
Directions & Parking
When will my case be called?
Cases will be called as the court has scheduled them, however the court will try to accommodate the young children first, followed by the older children.
How long should we expect to be at the ceremony and finalization?
The ceremony is expected to last at least 45 minutes. The finalizations will take a bit longer as there will be many families there to finalize their adoptions. You should expect to be at the On-Center for at least 2 hours.
What Judge is finalizing my adoption?
You will receive a Notice of Court Appearance, your Judge and Part will be listed on the Notice. If you should have any questions, please contact your attorney.
How long will birth certificate take to be returned from the New York State Department of Health?
If your adoptive child was born in the State of New York, you should expect your new amended certificate in a period of 6-8 weeks.
Is there a fee associated with amending the birth certificate?

If your child was born in the State of New York, there is no fee to amend the birth certificate.

If your child was born out of the State of New York, the court will provide fee information and a time frame of when to expect your adoptive child's  amended birth certificate directly to your attorney prior to the ceremony. Please note that many states have a fee associated with amending a birth certificate  and will only accept personal checks.

If your child is foreign-born, there is a $30.00 fee for each copy of the amended certificate requested. You may request as many as you like at $30.00 each.

Will we get the adoptive child's original birth certificate back after the finalization?
No. Original Birth Certificates become part of the confidential sealed adoption file.
Will I have any proof of adoption after the finalization?
Yes. The court will provide you with a Certificate of Adoption.
Does the adoptive child have to present?
Yes, the child and the adoptive parents must be present for the finalization.
Will food and beverages be available?
Yes! Goodies, coffee, juices and water will be available throughout the ceremony and cake to be available immediately following.
Are pictures allowed during ceremony and finalization?
Yes, pictures and video are allowed during the ceremony however during finalization, please check with your respective Judge.
Is my child's adoption confidential?
Yes and will be sealed upon Judge's signature. Please be advised that media and members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony. The general public will not, however, be present for the adoption finalizations.