Applying for a birth certificate is the right of every person, but about 25% of children under the age of five do not have one. The registration process has to be handled through the Registrar of Births and Deaths. For people living in urban areas, the Municipal Corporations or Councils issue birth certificates, while the Gram Panchayats issue these certificates in villages.

Applying for a birth certificate

What are the documents needed when applying for a birth certificate?

There are multiple documents needed for the registration of a birth certificate, but most of these are related to the parents. They would have to submit:

  • Proof of birth letter in hospital (provided by the concerned hospital)
  • Parent’s birth and marriage certificate
  • Address proof through their Voter-ID, electricity, gas, water, telephone bill, passport, ration card, Aadhaar card, etc.

What are the details on the birth certificate?

Birth certificates have two parts, the legal and statistical portion.

Applying for a birth certificate

The legal portion has information about the child mentioned on it, such as the name, date of birth, and parent’s names, among other details like the grandparent’s information, signatures of people who registered the birth and so on. It is the information a child would need when applying for any other documentation, providing a legal identity.

This certificate is needed for registration for other Government documentation, driver’s license, Voters ID, social services such as a marriage certificate, and more. It serves as proof of relationship to parents, required for child support services, inheritance, and eligibility for benefits.

Additionally, information about births and deaths that have taken place around that time are stored and used for statistical purposes.

The statistical portion of the birth certificate records the parent’s education, socio-demographic data, and prenatal history. The information collected allows health officials to identify regional health issues and tells us about the health of mothers and babies. It allows us to identify public health trends such as birth defects, Children with Special Healthcare Needs, other physical defects with children, and HIV. Furthermore, this information determines government funding for public health.

Going through the statistics around India, almost 38% of Indian children under the age of five do not have a birth certificate. Currently, not all births and deaths are registered and States having poor infrastructure, have a lower number of registered births and thereby higher infant mortality rate.

How do people go about when registering for a birth certificate?

For registering a birth certificate through the office, one must visit the concerned Municipal Corporation or Panchayat depending on where they stay, and submit the required documents to get a birth certificate form.

If the child is born at a hospital, the Medical Officer in charge will issue a letter to be submitted. After the birth certificate form is filled and submitted, the authorities have to verify the information. The certificate is delivered by post after verification. Adults who do not have a birth certificate should visit the Municipal Corporation or Gram Panchayat of their place of birth. They need to provide details like place, date, and time of their birth to the registrar. Along with this information, they have to submit documents like their Aadhaar card, an educational certificate and address proof and pay the nominal registration fees. After verification, they get their birth certificate issued

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