Genealogy – Certificate of Live Birth vs Birth Certificate

Much has been made by uninformed media, celebrities, and individuals about President Obama’s Certificate of Live Birth.

All to frequently they try to lump it with a birth certificate. As Donald Trump, and others have stated the two are very different.

So to get the facts I consulted the code on Hawaii’s website.

[§338-17.8] Certificates for children born out of State. (a) Upon application of an adult or the legal parents of a minor child, the director of health shall issue a birth certificate for such adult or minor, provided that proof has been submitted to the director of health that the legal parents of such individual while living without the Territory or State of Hawaii had declared the Territory or State of Hawaii as their legal residence for at least one year immediately preceding the birth or adoption of such child.
(b) Proof of legal residency shall be submitted to the director of health in any manner that the director shall deem appropriate. The director of health may also adopt any rules pursuant to chapter 91 that he or she may deem necessary or proper to prevent fraudulent applications for birth certificates and to require any further information or proof of events necessary for completion of a birth certificate.
(c) The fee for each application for registration shall be established by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 91. [L 1982, c 182, §1]

All you need is to prove that you are a legal resident of Hawaii and the document can be issued. Just fill out a form and submit.

As a professional genealogist and working in family history full-time for over 11 years and involved for over 35 years, I’ve seen thousands of birth certificates, but few and rarely, Certificates of Live Birth.

They are very different. A birth certificate provides much more information, especially in the last 50 plus years. They many time not only identify the child, but the hospital born in, the parents nationalities and residences, parents ages or more, number of children in the family and what child this is plus number living. They are witnessed and signed usually within a few days of the birth.

Certificates of Live Birth are not the same. So stop listening to all the false statements that they are. Whoopi, Alan Combes, The Today Show and more aren’t presenting the facts. The next time you need information on records, consult local government offices and professional researchers or research companies. They’ll help.

For more articles on Family History and Genealogy consult the Blog at ForGenerations,

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