Differences in Types of Birth Certificates

By Kyla Chele Cambrooke
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Every state in the United States requires all children born in the country to have a birth certificate. You can obtain an original birth certificate from the state where the child was born typically at the Vital Records office. The state may charge a small fee to retrieve a birth certificate. There are different types of birth certificates, and not all are acceptable for official use.

Souvenir Birth Certificate

Typically, new parents receive a souvenir birth certificate in hospital in the United States. A souvenir birth certificate normally has the newborn's actual footprints. You can also ask the delivery doctor to sign the document. This is not an official birth certificate; therefore, parents must complete paperwork to receive a legal birth certificate.

Certified Birth Certificate

Some refer to a certified birth certificate as a long form birth certificate, Photostat copy or book copy. A certified birth certificate is an actual copy of the original birth record that the hospital or the attending doctor completed. The certified birth certificate includes the child's complete names, gender, date of birth, time of birth, race and place of birth. In addition, certified document includes the birth parents' information, including full names, date of birth, race, maiden name and birthplace. The delivery doctor signs the document, and at least one of the parent signs.

Short Form Birth Certificate

A short form birth certificate is not widely accepted. A database stores some information from the original birth certificate, such as the child's full name, date of birth, gender, county of birth and the date the original record was filed. The short form certifies that an actual birth certificate exists. "Certificate of Live Birth," Certification of Birth" and "Certification of Birth Registration" are some of the titles that may appear on the short form document.