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Birth Certificate Documentation

According to Wikipedia, “a birth certificate is a vital record that documents the birth of a child.” Birth certificates are usually acknowledged when they appear in one of two forms; as the original document that certifies the circumstances of the birth or a certified copy of the original birth certificate. In the United States, birth certificates are normally completed by the attending physician or midwife.

Birth certificates help agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) monitor US health trends and can also be used to influence health care policy. For the general public, the birth certificate is not an oft-used document but when needed is advantageous to have on file or at least know how to access.

Medical Uses of Birth Certificates

The medical profession and healthcare agencies such as the CDC use birth certificates for a variety of uses, including:

• Evaluation of prenatal care

• Immunizations of newborn children

• Care for children with congenital anomalies

• Evaluating the need for health facilities

• Estimating school enrollments

• Planning new schools

• Evaluating the effectiveness of family planning programs

• Identification and monitoring of risk factors leading to poor pregnancy outcomes

Individual Uses of Birth Certificates

Individual uses are similar to several of the important medical agency uses of our birth certificates, which accurately record the date, birth and year of each person born in the US. In real life scenarios, Americans use their birth certificates to register at school or obtain a driver’s license. Birth certificates can also be used for legal purposes such as obtaining a work permit or proof of age in court majority/minority legal cases.

For many of an individual’s most important entitlements, birth certificates are required. This can include proof of age and identity for pensions, social security and health insurance. An individual’s birth certificate is usually required for obtaining a work permit and to establish voting rights or to enter the US military.

Many schools require a birth certificate for registration but also to permit the student to play sports. At the same time, a birth certificate will be necessary for any person applying for a social security number.

Your Birth Certificate and Citizenship

Because your birth certificate establishes the place of birth, it can play an important role in proving an individual’s US citizenship. Citizens are required to present their birth certificate when they apply for a passport for the first time. However, birth certificates may well be required for individuals seeking job opportunities that are limited to US citizens or when seeking to obtain licenses that are limited to US citizens.

Birth Certificates and Family Relationships

The US court system may require a birth certificate in cases where the individual finds it necessary to prove legal dependency. Another situation where the birth certificate can be helpful is when an individual desires to obtain inheritance benefits through social security or through the court system.

This is also true when an individual is named as the beneficiary in insurance policies. Similarly, birth certificates are useful when genealogical research is being conducted.


Individuals will be well served to always keeping their original birth certificate or a certified copy on file. Records of birth certificates are maintained in the county where the individual was born. Certified copies can be obtained directly from the county or by using an online provider. Fees are nominal and the process is quick and relatively fluid.

Once the certified copy is obtained, make photo copies and keep them in a safe place. Failure to have copies can slow down important processing of very real, very essential paperwork. Be smart and order your certified birth certificate today!