USA Birth Records

The United States Census Bureau records the number of births every year. But, how do they keep track of the number of births for the year?

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When a child is born, the hospital provides the government with their birth record. The government uses birth records for vital statistics and censuses purposes. Within the United States, your birth certificate is your first official legal document.

USA Birth RecordsDespite its importance, it can sometimes get lost. The following will provide you with information on how to get a birth record if you’re in this situation.

US Birth Record vs. Birth Certificate: What’s the Difference

What is a birth record? As stated above, a birth record is an official document to show proof of identity. But is a birth record the same as a birth certificate?

The terms are interchangeable, although a birth certificate is a form of a birth record. Below are the three kinds of birth certificates you can get:

  • Long-form birth certificate
  • Short-form birth certificate
  • Heirloom birth certificate

All forms of birth certificates verify three things. A person’s identity, proof of age, and citizenship status.

You will need a long-form birth certificate to receive passports and dual citizenship. It is a comprehensive birth record and will show a history of corrections. It is also what you traditionally think of as your official birth certificate.

A short-form birth certificate is an abstract of a birth record. It will show only current information of an individual. The short version may not always be accepted by every state or for all applications

An heirloom birth certificate is another abstract of birth records. It is a birth certificate with custom designs and features. It is decorative or used for genealogical purposes or as a keepsake. This is not an official record.

Where to Begin Your USA Birth Records Search

There are times when you want to research someone’s birth records. You can start by going to your state’s department of health website. For example, the State of Indiana shows how you can find birth records within the state.

The U.S National Archives and Records website is perfect if the person you’re looking for has a military background.

What Information Can Be Obtained from a US Birth Records Search

The amount of information you’re looking for depends on the copy of the birth record. The short-form birth certificate only provides basic information about a person’s identity. You will find a person’s date of birth, place of birth, sex, and parent’s names.

The long-form birth certificate will provide more detailed information on someone’s birth. For example, you may find information on church records, occupation of parent’s or parent’s birthplace.

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