A baby’s birth certificate is created using a form called the U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth. This form simply states that a child was born in the United States and was considered medically alive at birth.
The certificate is usually filled out by the child’s parents or the staff members at the hospital or facility where the child was born. Then, it must be submitted, either by mail or electronically, to the state, county, or city office responsible for creating and maintaining birth records in that state. The Certificate of Life Birth form includes information on the:
- Baby’s full name
- Baby’s place, date, and time of birth
- Baby’s gender, race, weight, and any health conditions
- Parents’ full names
- Hospital or birthing facility where the baby was born
- Attending doctors or midwives
- The person completing the birth record
The baby’s parents, the facility staff, or the attending doctors or midwives can submit the form to the state. The appropriate agency will process the Certificate of Live Birth, then the vital records office for the state will issue a new U.S. birth certificate for the child.
Birth Certificate vs. Certificate of Live Birth
While a Certificate of Live Birth is used to create a birth certificate, they are not the same documents. The Certificate of Live Birth is the application, while the birth certificate is the actual vital record created using the information provided on the form.
A person’s original birth certificate is always kept on file at the vital records office where it was created. The vital records office will use the original to make a certified copy of the birth certificate when requested. Certified or long-form copies of a birth certificate will contain information on the individual’s:
- Full, legal name
- Place and date of birth
- Gender at birth
- Parents’ names
A certified birth certificate copy will include certain identifying features, including a raised, multicolored, or embossed state seal, the registrar’s signature, and the date of issuance. Only certified copies can be used as proof of identity, age, and citizenship.