Attorney Paul Jensen rather maligned the State of Hawaii on the CNN program Anderson Cooper 360 this week by suggesting that anyone could just fill out a form and get a birth certificate from Hawaii, and refused to accept the assertion that Hawaiian birth certificates correctly state the place of birth.
Of course, Jensen was blowing smoke, citing a law from 1982 that could not have influence the registration of President Obama’s birth in Hawaii back in 1961. However, the impression is still left that there is something fundamentally wrong with Hawaii’s vital records procedure; and that is completely false. Hawaii follows procedures that align with national standards. It is not a “birth certificate mill.”
So what is going on here? Many states register out of state births as a courtesy to their citizens. If an established resident of a state travels outside the state and gives birth to a child, that person may return to the state, provide documentation of the out of state birth, and get a special certificate from the state certifying the documentation of that out of state event. In every case, the correct place of birth is given.
Today, electronic intrajurisdictional exchange (IJE) and the Electronic Verification of Vital Events (EVVE) system are making the process computerized.
We already know about Hawaii, but I wanted to mention other states that provide this same courtesy certificate to their residents:
- Legislation in Vermont: (f) The network’s data system shall be designed to coordinate with the data systems of other states so that data on out-of-state births to Vermont residents will be captured for vital records, case ascertainment, and follow-up services. The commissioner of health is authorized to enter into interstate agreements containing the necessary conditions for information transmission.
- Rhode Island Birth database: All persons born in Rhode Island and all persons born out-of-state to Rhode Island residents.
- Kansas: Out of state births part of vital records system.
- Georgia: Out of state births recorded. (pay article)
- New Jersey: Out of state births part of Electronic Birth System (PowerPoint)
- Louisiana: “The Vital Statistics Cooperative Program, a nationwide system of information interchange among all states and territories, makes possible the reporting of out-of-state births to Louisiana residents.” (Microsoft Word)
I have information that Arkansas, Wisconsin and South Dakota also register out-0f-state births. This us just what I could find quickly.