Birth Records

How to find government birth records online

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What can birth records really tell you asides from family lineage. These records along with death records are more often than not referred to as VITAL RECORDS along with divorce decrees, marriage licenses and wills. Birth records can resolve details such as parent’s residence, ages, employment and full names. A child and parents birth place along with religious information (baptism). These records are naturally seen by many as just the beginning. A concerted and committed impetus and momentum of late has offered adoptees new hope in tracing birth parents. Certain criteria does apply i.e. subject to the approval of the biological parent/s. This can be evidenced by The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) efforts in that adoptees now have access to Indiana birth records  pre 1994.

While birth records may well seem an obvious place to start, the consensus is that death records may well be seen as the initial search followed by marriage records then birth records, these records being arguably the most difficult to find. The reason being is that not all States kept records until some way in to the 1900’s. Local churches held some early records of baptism and christenings but birth records may well be absent. The commencement date of recorded death/birth records varied from each State. Records were held under each County and State jurisdiction. State laws will confirm when birth records were first recorded and available. Some birth records are also deemed ‘confidential’ and proof may be required to confirm you are who you say you are and/or a descendant. Vital records should be used by the right people for the right reasons.

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A delayed birth registration may be requested in certain jurisdictions if no record was filed at birth. Proof is required by way of church record, confirmation from a school or census and/or a testimony from an individual who witnessed the birth. Delayed registrations did not become recognised in the States until post 1937 when proof of birth was required by Social Security Administration. If a name was added or changed then a corrected record of birth should be filed. Eyewitnesses and affidavits are required for the majority of corrected records or confirmation from additional official records. If Information is proving difficult to obtain other sources that will assist in finding birth information can also be found in obituaries, church records, census records, funeral home records, Immigration and emigration data, newspapers, cemetery records, real estate records and probate.

What if the child was born abroad to American citizens? A child born outside the USA to American parents can secure American citizenship at time of birth if various requirements are met. The document in question is a CRBA (A Consular Report of Birth Abroad) or FS-240 that certifies the individual/child in question obtained American citizenship at birth. Those that can amend or replace a CRBA is as follows: A legal guardian or parent (for those under 18), The person named on the birth record (if 18 or over), an individual with written authority (notarized) from the person detailed in the birth record. The U.S. Department of State, on 3rd January 2011, commenced issuing a revised CRBA. Multiple copies of these documents can be requested at any time. The DS-1350 (Certificate of Report of Birth) ceased to be issued from 31st December 2010. Both the forms (DS-1350 and FS-240) remain valid for proof of ID, citizenship and other legal purposes.