How to Get a Birth Certificate If Born at Home

By Andrea Buckner Schoenherr

While a newborn baby does not have much need for a birth certificate, your little bundle of joy will be grown before you know it. Imagine him grown and applying for a passport--he will definitely need his birth certificate. As you plan your home birth, make sure you take the steps needed now to provide your baby with this important form of documentation. Alternatively, if you were a child of a home birth and need a birth certificate, you can apply for a delayed birth certificate.

Newborns

Discuss the paperwork with your certified midwife if you are using one. Midwives typically provide and help submit the paperwork for you as a hospital does.

Contact your local office of vital statistics if your home birth is not attended by a licensed professional who can assist with the paperwork. The requirements for registering a home birth and obtaining a birth certificate vary from state to state and often from county to county.

Check to see if it is possible to fill out any paperwork before the birth occurs.

Schedule an appointment with your local vital statistics office shortly after the birth to complete registration. Alternatively, you may be able to complete the application by mail. Some states require the process to be completed within seven days to avoid greater amounts of paperwork.

Obtain the needed affidavits for the registration. These may include at least two witnesses over the age of 18 who were present at the birth and an affidavit from a health-care professional who provided care to the newborn after birth. These documents will need to be notarized.

Bring the needed documents to the appointment. These may include: proof of pregnancy, such as a blood test or health-care statement; proof of residency, as in a driver’s license or renter’s statement; and photo identification.

Submit the required fee to obtain a copy of your child’s birth certificate.

Delayed Birth Certificate

Apply for a delayed birth certificate if the birth was not registered within a year. This is a lengthy process that can take up to one year to complete.

Contact the local office of vital statistics and request state specific directions for a delayed birth registration.

Submit all the paperwork, fees and supporting documents. Be careful to closely follow guidelines. Some states close the case after a given deadline and do not refund submitted fees.

Things You Will Need

  • Paperwork provided by local vital records office
  • Notarized affidavits
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of pregnancy
  • Personal identification
  • Money

About the Author

Andrea Buckner Schoenherr is a middle childhood educator. She greatly enjoys teaching students to write and is excited to use her own writing skills outside the school setting. She has a Bachelor and Master degree in education, recently earning the Heidelberg University 2009 Master of Education Award.