vital record that documents the birth of a child
A birth certificate is a vital record that documents the birth of a child. The certificate itself usually includes some or all of the following information:
- Birth name
- Date and time of birth
- Sex of the child
- Place and/or location of birth
- Names of the parents of the child
- Occupations of parents of the child
- Birth weight and length
- Name of informant registering the birth
- Date of registration of birth
- A birth registration number or file number
Most countries have statutes and laws that regulate the registration of births. In the United States, it is the responsibility of the mother's physician, midwife, or a hospital administrator to prepare the official birth certificate.
The birth certificate itself is not proof of a person's identity, but only a record stating that a birth occurred at the time, date, and place stated on the certificate. To prove one's identity, a person may need a photo ID, generally issued to an adult.