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Definition of a Birth Certificate

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention obtained valuable data reporting the birth rate in the U.S at approximately 3,791,712 in 2018. You can only imagine the number of birth certificates processed every day for every child born. A birth certificate is a personal and national record that carries key details about an individual’s background and citizenship. Birth parents or adoptive parents of the child are typically responsible for processing this document with the authorities. Those permitted to collect the certificate include the person named, the parent of the individual whose name appears on the document, and someone with legal permission to obtain the certificate from a government office or third-party agency.

When Do You Need a Birth Certificate?

We use a birth certificate for a variety of purposes involving our legal identity, mainly when processing critical documents for a personal benefit. But surprisingly, there are about 220 million children below five years old who do not have their births registered in the system, according to the Independent. It’s an alarming fact affecting many third-world families across the globe.

While you might think your birth certificate is just another document you’ll end up storing for years only to collect more dust, you’d be surprised how often you’ll need it for the most of your life. Apart from general identification, there are several reasons why a birth certificate is worth having.

School Registration

One of the primary requirements that schools and universities ask from their students is a certified copy of their birth certificates. Parents are typically responsible for preparing this document as soon as their child enters kindergarten so that the school’s admin may utilize it for their student records. It also helps the admin verify an enrollee’s identity to ensure that a student is under a registered name and is in the appropriate class level to proceed with.

Government IDs

Although we may already consider a birth certificate as a form of identification, it’s still crucial for individuals to secure other valid IDs for legal purposes. Many public agencies consider a birth certificate as a critical requirement for obtaining a government-issued photo identification card, such as a driver’s license, Social Security card, and a passport. These ID cards are necessary for processing personal records, legal papers, and other documents filed by the local and national government.

Marriage

Unless you plan to get hitched in front of an Elvis impersonator at Sin City, you’ll need an official birth certificate to have your marriage license processed by the proper authorities. That’s because a marriage license is an essential document among couples who need to file legal papers under both their names. You can use it to buy a house, open a joint bank account, process citizenship applications, and perform other matrimonial matters.

Travel Permit

Apart from getting a passport, a birth certificate may also be essential for other travel-related purposes. One example would be traveling by boat to another city or state, especially if passports aren’t necessary upon boarding. Other circumstances may involve minors or PWDs who travel alone by plane, as most airlines will need it along with an authorization letter to prove one’s identity.

Employment

Even if you do have at least two government ID cards in hand, most employers will still require you to provide an original copy of your birth certificate as evidence. It’s one of the many documents that companies will need for recordkeeping; otherwise, they do have the authority to deny your application or terminate your employment contract under specific terms.

Five Facts You Need to Know About Childbirth

With only weeks before your due date, you might have a lot of things on your mind right now that’s making you feel both excited and nervous at the same time. First-time moms don’t always know what to expect during childbirth, and that’s completely normal, as no one could ever know everything about giving birth before it happens. But to help ease your mind and offer you a sense of comfort, here are a few things you might want to know about the experience.

Contractions Suck: If you think menstrual cramps are bad, wait until the contractions start. Many women describe it as a journey to hell and back, so seeing them scream profanities at their partners is something you’ll witness the majority of the time. It’s arguably the most painful part of giving birth, and there’s not much that nurses and midwives can do to help you escape the pain. But if you’re searching for a silver lining in this whole ordeal, know that contractions can almost make pushing a baby out feel like a piece of cake (emphasis on the word “almost”).“Poop” Happens: Gross. But it’s true. When you’re in labor, you may feel a number two coming with the amount of pressure felt as your baby makes its way through your birth canal. But before the panic sets in, know that this is a natural feeling that happens to everyone. You may feel your baby pressing down to your entire lower region like you’re taking one big dump, which can often be unsettling for most women. If you’re worried about embarrassing yourself in front of your doctors and nurses, you’ll be happy to know that they could care less about the “accident” as long as the baby comes out healthy.Women Are Superheroes: Imagine being on labor for more than sixteen hours straight. You could receive all the medications possible to make the pain bearable, but complete pain relief is never a guarantee for anyone. The excruciating amount of pain that mothers have to go through is incomparable and will leave you feeling extremely sore for the next few days. And while it’s hard to think that a seven-pound baby can come out of your tiny opening, you’d be surprised by what the human body can do during childbirth. Don’t underestimate yourself; you’re capable of so much more than you think.Birth Plans Help (Sometimes): Have you ever considered creating a birth plan with your doctor? If you have, then there’s one less problem to worry about. Many first-time moms want to make sure they come prepared for whatever inconveniences that might cause them trouble. Although you can’t expect everything to go as planned, deciding what you want to happen and what you want to avoid during and after labor offers comfort to ease your worries. Care providers will appreciate the effort you took to let them know what your preferences are to ensure that you receive the best care possible.Every Birth Is Different: Never assume the worst (or best) for your childbirth experience. If your older sister had a C-section during delivery, there’s no saying you’ll need one as well, even if you have the same body shape and experience the same pregnancy blues. Birth stories are fun and interesting to listen to, but you can’t expect events to unfold like a script straight of a movie. Overthinking these stories will only stress you out and leave you in a state of worry, so try not to focus too much on what others have to say and trust your doctor for advice.Birth Certificates Are Final & Official: Once a representative from the hospital’s medical records department hands you a form to fill, make sure you have all the data you need to have it filed. And the only way for you to change the information listed is to have it processed all over again, which can be a burden to complete. For that reason, make sure to finalize the child’s information before submitting it to the representative. Anything written in the form will reflect in the hospital’s records and the child’s birth certificate.

How Do You Obtain a Birth Certificate?

There are various instances when you’ll find yourself in need of a birth certificate. Perhaps you need an extra copy for your employment application, or maybe you lost the document in a house fire not too long ago. But because these documents contain sensitive information about an individual, they are not accessible for public use. You will have to undergo a series of steps to get a new birth certificate from the health department or the appropriate government office.

Step 1: Get in Touch with the Authorized Agencies

Although you might already have a birth certificate available from when you were born, it’s not something you want to give to a recruiter upon employment. Instead, you’ll want to consider ordering one from the Statistics Office. But birth certificates are not the most accessible document to obtain, as it does take time, money, and effort to process. You may have to face the long, grueling lines at the proper government offices to get one. Fortunately, many third-party service providers can do it for you at an additional fee. It’s the fastest and most convenient alternative available, but you have to be careful about who you consult. The company must have the proper permit to process this document on your behalf, so make sure you have this verified first.

Step 2: Fill Out the Application Carefully

Many agencies provide print forms and online forms that you can use to order a birth certificate. You can download a copy of the order form through their website, or visit their office to have it processed in person. Simply follow the instructions indicated in the form and fill it with your data. If there are parts of the form that confuse you, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a representative who’ll be happy to assist you.

Step 3: Double-Check for Errors

Be extra careful when filling out a form. In addition to your personal information, the form may also ask for your updated contact list for further confirmation. The last thing you want is to redo the entire process after a few mistakes from the last one caused you problems. Getting your mother’s name or your birthdate wrong can already be a hassle to correct the next time. Thus, it’s best to review every bit of information before handing in your form.

Step 4: Prepare Additional Documentation

While it’s not always necessary, some agencies may request a valid ID or a notarized statement to verify your identity and proceed with the certificate’s issuance. You may want to contact the agency for these requirements prior to visiting their office, or you can check their website for guidelines to answer any frequently asked questions. Failure to provide the necessary papers will likely make it difficult for you to get approval.

It counts to know what a birth certificate is and why you need one, particularly when you enter adulthood, and the document becomes more significant than ever. Hence, you don’t want to take your birth certificate for granted. Keep the guidelines above in mind, and you should spare yourself from the trouble.