A Birth Certificate is the first official document of the newly born child. It contains the following information: the child's name and sex, the place and the date of his/her birth, the parents' names and dates of birth, as well as the name of the governmental institution that issued the document.
This document is very important because it is the only proof of identity of the child until he/she reaches the lawful age. Therefore, the parents should keep it in a safe place and also make a certified copy of this document.
Virtually every stage of child's integration into society will require the Birth Certificate.
Parents will be asked to present this document when trying to enroll the child in the kindergarden or school; when the time comes for the child to obtain his or her first driving license or identity card. The social security number will not be given without the Birth Certificate. Even in adult life, there will be situations where the person has to provide the Birth Certificate. For instance, when he/she applies for a job at a large company (where they usually ask to provide the full spectrum of personal documents), or at some governmental establishment, and when trying to sign up for the military.
Perhaps it says enough about the importance of the Birth Certificate in child's life. But how to get the certificate in the first place? If you and your husband are legal citizens of the United States, then the procedure is quite simple. When you get to the maternity department in your hospital, you will be approached by a nurse or a midwife, who will ask you to fill out the application form for the Birth Certificate. If, for some reason, you are not ready to complete these forms (you didn't want to know the baby's sex before the birth; you are not sure about the name for your child or you have unresolved issues regarding paternity), you can do that after delivering the child.
The hospital then transfers all the information to the office of Vital Records or other governmental institution that handles the issuance of Birth Certificates. In a week or so after you get back from the hospital, contact the authority's office to make sure that they have prepared the Birth Certificate of your child. Some state offices notify the parents about the availability of the certificate, others don't, so you or your husband shouldn't put this matter on the backburner. Also, don't forget to ask the state office to provide a copy of the Birth Certificate or have the certificate translated and notarized, if you think about moving to a foreign country with your child. Don't be afraid to ask the office about how to get Birth Certificate notarized or how to get an official copy of the Birth Certificate. In some cases, you would have to get an apostille for the Birth Certificate, if you are going to relocate to the country which is a member of the HCCH. This is necessary for the legalization of the Birth Certificate abroad. You will also have to pay a processing fee which differs from state to state, though the average amount is around $20. Once you get the certificate, make a few copies and keep it in a secure place together with personal documents of other members of your family.
How to obtain a Birth Certificate for children of American parents who were born abroad?
If a citizen of the United States decides to deliver the child in a foreign country, then she or her legal husband would have to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (CRBA) at the nearest US embassy. After the consulate approves the application, the Department of State will issue a special form called FS-240 which grants the child all rights of a US citizen.
How to obtain a Birth Certificate for children of immigrant parents who were born in the US?
According to the legislation, every child born in the United States, is eligible for obtainment of the US Birth Certificate, regardless of the nationality of his/her parents. Such a child can also apply for the US citizenship once he/she reaches the lawful age.