Birth Records

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Vital records that contain details about a person’s birth are known as birth records. The information found in birth records typically includes the date, place, time of the individual’s birth, and information on their parents. 

The government has not always kept birth records. For many years, churches and other religious organizations and families were the only ones who kept records of births. However, government agencies are now responsible for collecting and storing information about every U.S. citizen’s birth. This birth record information usually includes the individual’s:

  • Full, legal name at birth
  • Gender at birth
  • Date and place of birth
  • Parentage

The majority of U.S. states have closed birth records. This means that only the person on record and select family members can access a birth record. However, birth records are only kept closed for a specific amount of time, typically around 75 years. After that, they become public record, and anyone can access them.

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