Birth certificates can be changed for any number of reasons. The most common reason for seeking an amended birth certificate is in the case of adoption. However, if you need to change information, supply missing information (like It's a Girl!), change the gender listed, or change the name it is all possible to be done through an amended birth certificate.
Though every state has differing laws there are some general characteristics of the process that can get you started. Be sure to check with your own particular state
FIND THE BIRTH STATE DEPARTMENT HANDLING BIRTH CERTIFICATES
So, if you need a change in an Arizona birth certificate for example, type in 'az birth certificate' to google and follow the first few links. You will discover in this example that Arizona Department of Health Services, the Office of Vital Records handles birth certificates in that state. Most states have remarkably similar structures. Find the contact information for your state. A California birth certificate will be different.
IF YOU ARE A NEW PARENT USE THE 45 DAY WINDOW TO MAKE CHANGES!
You have 45 days from the day of birth to change anything on the birth certificate that you want. You should receive paper work to review during that time. If you do not, contact the local health service department or vital records department and ask where you can pick up the paper work. Review it, make changes, and mail it in. Easy. If you don't forget. So, don't forget!
DETERMINE THE DOCUMENTATION YOU NEED TO AMMEND A BIRTH CERTIFICATE
If you are adopting a child and the amendment is by court order, you can usually simply include the court order as long as it orders that the birth records be amended to reflect the change of name.
For most other amended birth certificates you will need two forms of documentation that will prove this is a true change (not falsified or fraudulent) and justified.
Talk with an official in the department handling birth certificates to ensure you don't make extra trips, or have to send multiple mailings.
ACQUIRE, COMPLETE, SIGN, AND NOTARIZE THE APPLICATION TO AMEND THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE
- Acquire the form. Usually these can be downloaded online in a pdf format.
- Print it, fill it out, and double check every line.
- Don't sign it yet!
- Find a notary republic in your area. Sign the document in their presence with proof of identity and they will stamp it so that it is 'notarized.'
CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK THE DOCUMENTATION.
You don't want your birth certificate amendment to get sent back because of errors or missing information. Double check it, and have someone else double check it.
- Avoid scam web sites that charge you high fees for full birth certificate copies.
- If this is a complicated case for birth certificate amendment, do get legal counsel to make sure everything is in order. Their fees are that high considering the significance of this life change for you.
- Have someone else proof your document for you as well.
- Do call ahead before driving or mailing documents.