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Home Birth Pre-Registration and Verification

6401 York Road, Third Floor
Baltimore, MD 21212-2130
Email: hhs@baltimorecountymd.gov    

Phone: 410-887-BCHD (2243)
TTY users call via Maryland Relay

Why do I need to register my baby's birth?

Maryland law requires that all births occurring in the State be registered with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (Maryland Health-General Code Ann. 4-208). Registration of your child's birth establishes the facts of birth and will be used throughout your child's lifetime for a variety of legal purposes.

When a baby is born outside of an institution, the local health officer or designee of the jurisdiction where the birth occurred is required to attempt to verify the facts regarding the birth (COMAR 10.03.01.02F).

Preregistration simplifies the registration process that will take place after the baby is born.

How do I pre-register a home birth?

Baltimore County residents planning to have a home birth, should call 410-887-3725 to pre-register their pregnancy. The pre-registration process will also include a home visit by a public health nurse, who will offer health education and linkage to community resources.

Post Delivery Notice

Please note that a public health nurse must conduct a home visit to verify the live birth within the first two weeks of the delivery, and to complete a verification of birth worksheet.

What information must I provide to obtain my child's birth certificate?

The information below provides examples of the types of documentation that may be provided to the local health department to allow for the facts of birth to be verified, so the birth can be registered. Additional or alternate documentation may be requested at the discretion of the local health officer.

Section 1: Proof of Identity of Parent(s)

One of the following valid, unexpired, government-issued documents:

  • Driver’s license
  • State issued photo identification card
  • Passport
  • Permanent resident card (Green Card)
  • Military identification card; or
  • A signed statement that the mother does not have one of the identification documents above; and
    two of the following documents that contain the applicant’s name and current address:

    • Utility bill
    • Car registration form
    • Pay stub
    • Bank statement
    • Income tax return
    • Income tax W-2 form
    • Lease or rental agreement or
    • Letter from a government agency

Section 2:  Evidence of Pregnancy

One of the following:

  • a prenatal or postnatal medical record that is consistent with the date of delivery and includes the mother’s name, mother’s date of birth, date of health exam, health care provider’s signature, health care provider’s printed name, signature date, and license number;

  • a statement from a physician or certified nurse midwife licensed in the United States who has first hand knowledge of the pregnancy and is willing to attest to the fact of pregnancy. The statement should include the mother’s name, mother’s date of birth, provider’s printed name, and signature, signature date, and license number;

  • preregistration with the local health department during pregnancy, including a face to face interview and physical examination;

  • documentation of a home visit by a public health nurse or other health care provider who has first hand knowledge of the pregnancy; or

  • other evidence acceptable to the local health officer.

Section 3: Evidence That a Live Birth Occurred

One of the following:

  • a statement from a physician, certified nurse midwife, or other licensed health care provider who saw or examined the infant within
    the first two weeks of life;

  • an observation of the infant during a home visit by a public health nurse or licensed health care provider within the first two weeks of life; or

  • other evidence acceptable to the local health officer.

Section 4: Evidence of Mother’s Presence in Maryland on the Date of the Live Birth

A. If the birth occurred in the mother’s place of residence, one of the following deemed acceptable by the Health Officer:

  • Driver’s license or other state-issued identification card that includes the mother’s current residence on the face of the license/card;

  • Rent receipt, mortgage statement, or deed that includes the mother’s name and Maryland address;

  • Recent pay stub that includes mother’s name and Maryland address; or

  • other evidence acceptable to the local health officer.

B. If the birth occurred outside of the mother’s place of residence, and the mother is a resident of Maryland, all of the following information is required:

  • an affidavit from the tenant of the premises where the birth occurred stating that the mother was present on those premises at the time of the birth; and

  • evidence of the affiant’s residence similar to that required in Section 4; and

  • evidence of the mother’s residence in the State similar to that required in Section 4; or

  • other evidence acceptable to the local health officer.

C. If the mother is not a resident of Maryland, evidence must consist of clear and convincing evidence acceptable to the local health officer. 

What happens if the local health officer cannot verify the facts of birth?

Birth certificates are signed at the discretion of the health officer. If the facts of birth cannot be verified, families may seek a court order from the Circuit Court for Baltimore County that lists the facts about the birth and orders the Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to create the birth record.

Where to Go:

Circuit Court for Baltimore County
401 Bosley Avenue, Second Floor
Towson, Maryland 21204
Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
See a clerk at the Civil and Family window

Verify License and Certification

To assure the quality and safety of medical care, all physicians practicing in the State must be licensed by the Maryland Board of Physicians and all midwives must be licensed and certified by the Maryland Board of Nursing. There are several different types of midwives, but only certified nurse-midwives are licensed to practice in the State of Maryland. 

Revised September 29, 2014

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