Your Original Birth Certificate
Original Birth Certificate
An original birth certificate is the record created when you are born. If you are an adoptee, your original birth certificate was sealed at the time of your adoption.
An original birth certificate typically contains:
- The birth name of the adoptee
- The date of birth of the adoptee
- The place of birth of the adoptee (including hospital name)
- The names of the birth mother and birth father at the time of the birth
- The birth mother’s maiden name
- Where the birth mother and birth father were born
- The birth mother’s address at the time of the birth
When an adoption is about to occur, information on the birth father is often missing from an original birth certificate (e.g., the birth father is not known, the birth mother does not wish to disclose who the birth father is). However, an original birth certificate sometimes contains details on the birth father as well.
If you are an adoptee, you have an amended birth certificate. Typically, this altered birth record contains:
- The names of your adoptive parents
- Your date of birth
- Your place of birth (including hospital name)
- The names of your adopting parents
- Your adoptive mother’s maiden name
- Where your adoptive parents were born
- Your adoptive parent’s address when you were adopted
It’s pretty obvious that obtaining your original birth certificate can be quite valuable when searching for your birth parents.
We have already posted that a number of states currently have open adoption records and original birth certificates are accessible. Also, there are several additional states that are about to open records and other states where legislation to open records is pending. Here is a link to our post:
Caution: Obtaining your original birth certificate is typically not enough to find your birth parents without significant, additional research:
- You will still need to obtain your birth mother’s current name (unless she was married at the time of your birth).
- You will need to obtain your non-identifying information, allowing you or a company such as OmniTrace to conduct accurate database and genealogical research. (Please read our prior posts on what non-identifying information is and how to obtain it.)
- You will need to prepare a strategy to make contact with your birth parents once you have located them.
Requesting A Birth Certificate
- Send a check or money order. Don’t send cash.
- Ask for a long-form original birth certificate. This will contain more identifying information.
- If you are ordering a birth certificate of somone who is deceased, provide a copy of the death certificate.
Remember, if the birth certificate that you received does not have the signature of the birth physician, then you may have an ammended birth certificate of an adopted child.
We hope our Original Birth Certificate post helps you successfully locate your birth parents. Please write us with any questions you might have at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll free at: 888-965-6696.