The birth certificate is a legal document that will follow your child throughout his or her life. It contains information about the child, mother and father. The original birth certificate also contains health information used for statistical purposes to improve the health of children and pregnant women in Alabama. This confidential information will not be included on the certified copy of the birth certificate.
Naming your child
You may give your child any name you wish. Traditionally, children born to married parents have the same last name as their father. However, a child can have the mother’s surname, a hyphenated name combining the mother’s surname and father’s surname or any other name that the parents wish. Be sure your child’s name is entered on the birth certificate exactly as you want. Because it is a legal document, court action may be required to change information on the birth certificate.
Listing of father on the birth certificate when parents are unmarried
If the child’s parents are unmarried, the father can only be listed on the birth certificate if he acknowledges paternity of the child. To acknowledge paternity, the Acknowledgement of Paternity Form must be completed and signed by both parents in the presence of a notary. The hospital birth certificate representative can provide the form and notary services. Each parent must show a valid photo ID (driver’s license, school ID, passport, military ID, state/government ID).
If you do not wish to acknowledge paternity during your hospital stay, an Acknowledgement of Paternity can be submitted any time prior to the child’s 19th birthday by contacting the Department of Human Resources county office or the Center for Health Statistics, P.O. Box 5625, Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5625.
How to obtain a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate
Before you leave the hospital, you will be given a document that shows a record of the birth. This is not an official copy of the birth certificate and cannot be used for legal purposes. You will also be given an application to order an official certified copy of your child’s birth certificate from the State. You may also obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate at any county health department in Alabama or visit www. adph.org for information on how to request a certified birth certificate from the State after you leave the hospital.
Social Security Card information
By stating on the Information on Obtaining A Social Security Number for Your Child form that you want a Social Security number issued for your child, the Social Security Administration will issue a Social Security Card for your child within a few weeks. It will be sent to the mailing address you provide. The Social Security Card will be helpful for filing your taxes, obtaining a passport for your child, admitting your child to day care programs and registering your child for school and other programs or services.
How to contact the Center for Health Statistics
Alabama Department of Public Health
Center for Health Statistics
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, AL 36103-5625