Now this is fairly far fetched question but if my parents changed their name to my birth parents names is there any way of me knowing I'm adopted? Technically the mothers birthday would be different but that is a minor issue and may not be noticed for a long time. In addition my mothers birthday is different on my birth certificate then her real. Of course you would have to be adopted as a baby.

Ignoring genetics test of course because that would be an obvious give away.

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    Of course just about anything is possible, people do weird stuff. Is it likely? Probably not. Identity theft is a crime in many jurisdictions. – Harry V. Aug 13 '16 at 10:15
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    To be honest I can think of no other reason why adoptive parents of a newborn would take on the identities of the birth parents other than to circumvent the law somehow. They need not benefit financially for it to be identity theft. If it was done with the birth parents' permission then no maybe that would not be identity theft, but what birth parents would give permission to do that? And why anyway would they want to do that, why not just change the child's surname? It just makes no sense. – Harry V. Aug 13 '16 at 17:09
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    Do you have reason to believe this has happened (and if yes, on what grounds), or is this a purely speculative question. – Tom Brunberg Aug 13 '16 at 17:31
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    If I were an ordinary user, I would also vote to close this question. It's impossible to evaluate the information on a birth certificate (even sight unseen) without knowing the location and time period, so that we know what information is supposed to be recorded. On what birth certificate anywhere does the mother's birthdate appear? – Jan Murphy Aug 13 '16 at 20:07
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    @William, not every question will find a home on the StackExchange network and this may be one of them. It really isn't genealogy. – user104 Aug 15 '16 at 6:16

If you were simply adopted into a family as an infant, then I'm not sure why they would have changed their name, since you wouldn't have known your name at that age anyway. It's much easier to change an infant's name to match the adoptive family, obviously.

But suppose it happened...

The big giveaway, I guess, would be that your adoptive paternal uncles and grandfather wouldn't have the same surname as your father (unless they changed their name too, which is rather far-fetched). Likewise your mother's surname (maiden or married, depending on when the adoption occurred) wouldn't match her father or any siblings.

I suppose there's an alternative, that the "new" parents were essentially adopted into the existing family to replace your birth parents, taking on your birth family's identity. That might be harder to check for. If done legitimately, there would surely be paperwork, but perhaps not openly available. Again, though, there would be a "shadow" set of uncles, aunts, grandparents and so on, those of the adoptive parents, unless they cut off their original families entirely. So if you have eight grandparents, there's a chance this happened...

It seems an improbable scenario, to be honest, but an interesting question. Without genetic testing or paperwork I think the extended family will be the best clue. And they must be aware of the situation anyway.

  • If you change the name of the infant then I believe the birth certificate will also show the birth name. – William Aug 13 '16 at 16:51

I am not sure whether this question is on-topic but if you were adopted and:

if [your] parents changed their name to [your] birth parents names

before 1st November 1986, and you and they were in my country of Australia, then there would be a legal record of that change in the form of a Deed Poll:

A deed poll is a legal contract involving one party and was traditionally used for Australians to change their name. The contract was most often drawn up by a solicitor and then signed by the person wanting to change their name and two witnesses. The deed was then registered with a government body (usually the Land Titles Office in the state of registration).

Deed Polls haven't been used in Australia since the 1980's, but Deed Polls registered before 1st November 1986 are still considered legal. They are still used in lots of countries for registering name changes, such as in the UK.

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