Birth Certificates

A Birth Certificate is the official registration of your birth.

You may need a copy of your Birth Certificate for identification purposes.

When a child is born the birth must be registered. Parents usually receive a Birth Registration Statement from the Hospital or Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The birth must be registered within 60 days.  Registration is free, but obtaining a copy of the document may have a cost.

Where possible, both parents need to sign the Birth Registration Statement. The signatures need to be witnessed by a person over 18 years of age.

If only one parent has signed, they need to attach a letter to the Registrar explaining why the other parent has not signed. The letter should contain details of the other parent’s identity and last known address. A parent will not be added to the Birth Certificate unless they agree to sign it.

A father’s details can be added to a Birth Certificate at a later date. Marriage details can also be added to a child’s Birth Certificate, an application form is available from the Registry.

Differences between states

Northern Territory

If you were born in the Northern Territory, you can obtain a copy of your birth certificate from the Northern Territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Same sex female parents of children born in the Northern Territory have the right to record the names of both the birth mother and the female de facto mother on a child’s birth certificate. However, this can be affected by the method of conception; and birth certificates may be regarded differently at Federal law.

The law in this area can be complicated. For assistance, please contact the Central Australian Women’s Legal Service on 08 8952 4055 or 1800 684 055 should you require further legal information.

ACT

If you were born in the ACT, you can obtain a copy of your birth certificate by contacting the ACT Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

A birth registration statement is available from the ACT Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages.  Alternatively the form can be printed by accessing the Office of Regulatory Services website.

The form to add a father’s details or to add details of a marriage are available from the Office of Regulatory Services.

In the ACT, the birth mother and lesbian co-mother of a child using a sperm donor are presumed to be the legal parents of the child, if they are in a genuine relationship when the child is born.  They are both noted on the child’s birth certificate to the exclusion of the sperm donor.

Western Australia

If you were born in WA, you can obtain a copy of your birth certificate by contacting the WA Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

In WA, same sex female parents have the right to record both of their names on the child’s birth certificate, with the consent of the defacto partner.  Since September 2002, when a child is born in WA through artificial fertilisation procedures, the birth can be registered using the “Same Sex Parents Birth Registration Form”.

NSW

If you were born in NSW, you can obtain a copy of your birth certificate through the Service NSW website.

A birth registration statement is available from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.  After a birth has been registered, to make a change on a Birth Certificate you must write a letter to the Registrar explaining what information should be included.  The Registrar may request you make a statutory declaration that the information is true.

In NSW, two women are both able to be registered as parents on a birth certificate.

Victoria

If you were born in Victoria, you can obtain a copy of your birth certificate by applying online or you can fill in an application form and post it (along with a cheque or money order), or submit the form any pay in person at a Service SA Centre near to you.

You can register a birth using an online form through SA Births, Deaths and Marriages.  If you prefer, you can register using the Birth Registration Statement provided by the hospital or midwife, and return by mail or in person.

South Australia

If you were born in South Australia, you can obtain a copy of your birth certificate by applying online or in person at a Justice Service Centre.

Tasmania

If you were born in Tasmania, you can obtain a copy of your certificate from Service Tasmania or from the Tasmanian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

In Tasmania, two women in a significant relationship who have had a child together using a sperm donor are both able to be registered as parents on a birth certificate.

Queensland

If you were born in Queensland, you can obtain a copy of your birth certificate from the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Same sex female parents of children born in Queensland have the right to record the names of both the birth mother and the female de facto mother on a child’s birth certificate.