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Americans Requesting a Copy of a Birth Certificate

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signing a documentBirth certificate is the most important document to your legal identity and age. It is used as a reference point when a person applies for a passport or government benefits, enter the school, join the military, or claim pension or insurance benefits.

How to receive a copy?

If you are a U.S. born-citizen

For a certified copy of a birth certificate, one should contact vital records office in the state where person was born for instructions on how to request a copy and fees information.

If you were born abroad, or on a military base abroad

U.S. Embassy or Consulate registers those citizens who were born to American parents abroad in that very country, giving a Consular Report of birth Abroad.

The U.S. Department of State has authority to give a copy of this report.

If one was born on a military base abroad, and his parents did not register his birth with the U.S. Embassy, it is possible to contact the hospital where the birth took place. In other case, one can try contacting the base operator for the appropriate military branch.

If you were born abroad and adopted by a U.S. citizen

Whichever country the person was born in is responsible for documenting birth certificate.

In this case, it is possible to receive a copy only in the country one was born, so it is appropriate to contact the nearest foreign embassy or consultate for that country. A child born in a foreign country and adopted by a U.S. citizen will not receive a U.S. birth certificate. If the document is in a language other than English, certificate should be translated if an authenticated document is required.

If naturalization/citizenship documents need to be replaced for adopted child, it takes to fill an application for replacemnt of naturalization/citizenship form or contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.