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Home arrow Home arrow Genealogy FAQ arrow Genealogy FAQ arrow Birth - Information about Birth Certificates
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This is a full copy of the birth entry and includes particulars of parentage and registration.


A short certificate shows only the name and surname, sex, date of birth and district of birth. You are required to state the precise date and place of birth and the full name and surname of the person whose certificate is sought, with (as exactly as possible) the names and surnames of the parents and the mother's maiden surname. If you require a short birth certificate and are able to give full details please complete the form. Unless the full particulars are given a short certificate may not be supplied.


Records of adoptions in England and Wales are held by the Registrar General. These relate to persons who have been adopted since 1 January 1927 under the Adoption Acts. A standard certificate is a full copy of the entry in the Adopted Children Register which, instead of particulars of parentage and birth registration, gives the date of birth (if known) and particulars of the adoption and adoptive parents. A short certificate shows only the name and bears no reference to adoption. Applications for Adoptions Certificates should be made in writing to Adoptions Section, Office for National Statistics, Smedley Hydro, Birkdale, Southport, PR8 2HH. Do not use this form for that purpose.


If you apply by post please complete this form and enclose a stamped addressed envelope and the appropriate fee in sterling. Information about the cost of certificates may be obtained from any register office. All remittances should be made payable to the the appropriate authority and cheques should be crossed    "/&Co/".
Do not send cash.

This application form should be sent to the Superintendent Registrar of the district where the birth occurred. Do not use this form for making applications to the REGISTRAR GENERAL.


Superintendent Registrars do not have the staff to undertake searches of an indefinite or protracted nature. Usually a search in the birth index, covering a period not exceeding 5 years, will be made but only where accurate details have been given of the birth registration. If a wider search is required it is necessary for the applicant or someone on his/her behalf to make a GENERAL SEARCH in the indexes. For further information see below and then make enquiries of the Superintendent Registrar.


The indexes in a Superintendent Registrar's office relate only to births, marriages and deaths which occurred within the Superintendent Registrar's district.

A GENERAL SEARCH is a search in the indexes conducted in person by the applicant or someone on his/her behalf during any number of successive hours not exceeding six. By arrangement with the Superintendent Registrar a person making a GENERAL SEARCH may have access to the indexes to the registers of births, marriages and deaths but not to the registers themselves. A certificate of any entry identified may be obtained on completion of an application form and on payment of the appropriate fee.

If a person making a GENERAL SEARCH is uncertain whether a reference found in the indexes relates to the entry for which he/she is searching, the Superintendent Registrar, on being given definite details by which the entry may be identified, will verify those particulars by reference to the register. Any additional information from the entry can only be made available in the form of a certificate. The cost of checking the first eight references is covered by the GENERAL SEARCH fee, but an additional charge will be made for each subsequent reference checked unless a certificate is issued from the entry, in which case the certificate fee only will be payable.

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