Most people take their birth records for granted. If you live in a country like the United States and you are certain about who your biological parents are then there is no reason to think that your birth certificate is not accurate.
But even in developed countries, things can go wrong. Many more people are adopting children these days. There are also other ways that people can have a child, think about surrogacy. In these situations, accurate birth data is not always available. A child can grow up not having any idea who their biological parents are.
Everyone needs an Identity
Every child born deserves an identity. With so many people on the planet now this is even more important. Children need to be aware of their real names and the country in which they were born. This should happen with the creation of an official birth record.
In most countries when a child is born, there is a civil register provided by the government of the country for the entry of accurate birth records. The accurate registration of a new child’s birth is a legal record that the child exists and paves the way for the issuing of other legal documentation throughout the child’s life.
Accurate birth records and a birth certificate are essential for every person, and they form the basis of the following:
- The right to education for a child
- Access to health care
- Protection for the individual
- A record of the person’s existence
Not everyone has accurate Birth Records
Given the importance of an accurate birth certificate in today’s world it is very disturbing to know that there are a number of problems in this area. Studies have shown that there are millions of children that did not have their birth registered.
Without birth registration, there is no birth certificate. This means that a child misses out on essentials such as education and health care. As the child gets older, they will face many more problems. This is mainly a problem for developing countries, but it happens in every country to some extent.
No Birth Certificate creates many Problems
Countries need to keep accurate birth records. They need to understand the rates for births and deaths and also important issues such as infant mortality rates. A country needs to know how many citizens it has at all times.
In a lot of countries, the medical profession uses birth certificates to ascertain when new babies require vaccinations and will notify parents or guardians of this. No birth certificate means no health card. The staffing of hospitals and other medical facilities is dependent on population figures as well.
When people meet individuals that do not have birth certificates they will become suspicious. They think that the person is hiding something. This will make things very difficult for a person without a birth certificate to find employment for example. Getting into schools and colleges becomes a lot more challenging as well.
Birth Registration is not always a Legal Requirement
It will probably shock you to know that only around 65% of births across the world are officially registered. In a lot of developing countries, it is up to the family if they register the birth of a child or not. This takes effort, and there is a cost involved which is why a lot of children go unregistered.
This problem is particularly severe in sub-Saharan Africa where just 44% of children are registered for birth. The rural areas of the countries involved have really low numbers. There are wide variations too. In South Africa, there are over 95% of registered births while in Somalia the number is just 3%.
The lack of birth records across the world is a critical failure of world development according to experts. It is hard to disagree with this statement. Countries cannot plan for their development without accurate birth records and population data.
The provision of financial aid to countries where the problem exists is fine. The problem is accurately monitoring the progress that the country is making towards accurate birth records. This is very difficult for an external agency to do. Some countries will fabricate records to satisfy aid agencies.Source: mapministry.org
Changing old Systems
A new system of obtaining and maintaining birth records would improve things. Many countries still use a paper-based system which is prone to errors and abuse. Technology has a role to play here. In a lot of developing countries, mobile phone ownership is high.
There have been successful technology implementations for birth records in different countries. Pakistan, Kosovo, and Albania all used “geo-mapping” technology for the collection and storage of birth registration information.
Education is vitally important too. The families without unregistered children need to understand why it is so important for all of their children to have birth certificates. HHHolding awareness meetings is a good idea and even travelling door to door spreading the word is fine. Countries need to do whatever it takes to educate people about accurate birth records.
History of Birth Records in the USA
The legal birth registration process in the United States has not actually been around that long. In the old days, there was no legal requirement for a family to register their child and many didn’t. A birth certificate did not have the same importance as it does today.
The churches in America registered births for many years before the government took control. Even when states passed laws mandating churches to keep accurate records it didn’t always happen.
There were a lot of European immigrants entering the US from 1815 to 1915. Pressure on the US Bureau of Census finally saw the issuing of standard birth certificates. But this was not very successful, and it took the outbreak of World War II to get things moving.
A lot of native-born Americans could not prove their birthright. Some 200,000 births went unregistered during this time. There was a huge education program in the press and although this sparked a lot of interest the end of the war brought about significant change.
The National Office of Vital Statistics took ownership of birth records in 1946. This lead to the issuing of birth certificates for everyone. The value of accurate birth records should never be underestimated.
If you want to check out an individual’s date of birth in the United States, you can use a background check to do this. A good online background checking service will provide all of the information that you need.