fear of not being able to get a birth certificate keeps some couples from
having an unassisted childbirth (UC). This is unfortunate, as in all the years
I've been writing about UC, I've never known anyone who has been unable to get
one. Yes, sometimes the government makes you jump through some hoops, but in
the end they give you that piece of paper. This is because, like it or not, the
government wants you to be registered. They like to keep track of their
course, some couples simply choose not to register their children. I considered
going this route but ultimately decided against it. The fact is, it's difficult
(though not impossible) to live in this society without a birth certificate. A
friend of mine has never registered her children. Consequently, she pays higher
taxes (she can't deduct them) and has been unable to take them out of the
country for long periods of time due to passport problems. We all have our
battles to fight and for me, the birth certificate battle just isn't worth it.
But, to each her own.
best thing to do when planning a UC is to check with your local health
department. If you are told that you can't get a birth certificate with a UC,
ask to speak to a supervisor. It's best to remain calm and friendly, regardless
of the attitude of the person you are speaking to. Some people are shocked by
the idea of UC and will try to talk you out of it. They may even tell you it's
illegal. Over 99% of the time they're wrong.
some states or countries proof of pregnancy is required. A positive pregnancy
test from a clinic usually does the trick, although I've known some people who
have provided this proof without ever going to "officialdom." Friends or family
can often vouch for the fact that you were indeed pregnant. One woman I know
brought her birth tape to the health department as evidence. No one questioned
I don't believe we should fear the "authorities," I do recommend that couples
not rush to get a birth certificate after the birth of the baby. If the health
department does insist on seeing the child prior to issuing the certificate,
it's better they see a fat, healthy, happily nursing, one-month-old than a baby
who is fresh out of the womb. Many people assume that newborns are fragile and
in need of medical attention in spite of the fact that there's nothing wrong
are some statements from women in the UC community. As you will see,
the laws vary from state to state (birth certificate information available on
board at Parent's Place) and even from county to county. Hopefully
their comments will help dispel the myth that obtaining a birth certificate is
difficult after a UC. Happy birthing!
get our birth certificate we need proof of residency, proof of pregnancy either
from a doc or close friend or anyone except the parents, identification, and a
statement from the person delivering the child about how much it weighed and
all that good stuff. Everything except the identification has to be notarized."
I haven't had my UC yet, but according to the law and the lady at the b/c
office, I only need a form stating that that person was at the birth of (insert
baby's name) and the date and time he/she was born. It can be signed either by
the doctor, midwife, father or mother. I asked if proof of pregnancy was needed
and got a 'no.' But I don't know for certain until we go ahead and try to get
one after it has happened."
got Jason's birth certificate without proof of pregnancy, but it was a hassle.
In Oklahoma, our home state, all you have to do is walk into the health
department and fill out a quick form. In Indiana, where we were living when
Jason was born, they wanted not proof of pregnancy but written proof of a
doctor's exam of me AND the baby postpartum as well as proof of a PKU test
being performed (oh, and proof of residency). So we just made sure Jason was
born at his granny's house in Oklahoma (wink wink)."
called the vital statistics office (Washington state) for information about
filing for a birth certificate and, after being told SEVERAL times that the
doctor or midwife handles that, I got an answer. (I don't think she wanted to
tell me.) If the baby is less than 10 days old, all they need is ID, proof of
address, mom's signature and father's (or partner's) witness. If the baby is
over 10 days old, they also need a doctor's bill or letter on "official"
letterhead. If you ask me, a 9 day old baby looks a lot like a 12 day old baby
your question as to whether anyone had gotten a birth certificate without
providing proof of pregnancy, it may be harder to make a list of legal states
than you think. Why? Because as an example, a friend of mine and I live in the
state of Illinois, but she was required to provide proof of pregnancy, and I
was not. I hope this won't mean that you'll have to get the rules for each
county in our nation!"
CA the only way for a UC to get a birth certificate is to petition the court,
swear to the facts of birth, pay $32 and get a court ordered fact of live
birth, give them another $19 and they send that and a court order for delayed
registration of live birth to the state health department which sends you a
certified copy of the registration - a.k.a., a birth certificate. No proof of
anything other than your willingness to swear to the facts of birth as you've
stated them and your willingness to be held legally accountable and punishable
under all federal, state and local laws should you be found to have procured
this statement using falsehoods. It does make it go much more smoothly if you
provide backup "proof" but I just submitted a photo of me at my baby shower,
obviously pregnant, and a copy of the chiropractor bill from when my son was 6
days old and I went in for a post-natal adjustment."
is still legal in Alberta but there have been some rumors that some midwives in
particular are wanting to make it illegal for anyone but a doctor or a
registered midwife to deliver a baby. I am keeping my eyes open on that one and
the first sign of it I will round up some people and fight it with everything
I've got. I don't think it would succeed though...I mean, how is one supposed
to control something like that? I don't see how they could enforce it. If all
else fails we can say 'Oops, didn't make it to the hospital!' It was very easy
getting a birth certificate. No one asked any questions and when we registered
Sinéad's birth no one blinked an eye when we put Kim's name under 'who
delivered the baby.' Though I was half tempted to change that to me, as all he
did was catch her. :)"
Portugal it is quite simple to get a certificate, even if homebirths are
extinct. It's usual to show a document the doctor signs at the hospital and
people think it's required by law, but it's not. What is required by law is
only the identifications of both parents. I also had to show proof of my home
address because the one in the ID was my mother's house (any other legal
document or receipt will do)."