Congratulations on the birth of your child!
To congratulate you on the birth of your child, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is pleased to present you with your child's birth certificate. This is your child's first official identification, so please keep it in a safe location. Your child will use this birth certificate for future milestones, like registering for school, applying for a driver's license, getting a passport and verifying their U.S. citizenship for their first job.
If you need additional copies of your child's birth certificate, please order online at VitalChek. VitalChek is Pennsylvania's only authorized vendor for birth certificate ordering services.
Please review your child's birth certificate to make sure everything is accurate and spelled correctly. If you find a mistake, let us know and we will provide you with a free, corrected birth certificate within six months of your child's birth. The following information provides direction on how to correct errors on your child's birth certificate.
How to Correct Your Child's Birth Certificate
If your child's birth certificate contains an error, it is easiest to correct the error prior to your child's 6-month birthday. To correct your child's birth certificate AND to receive a corrected birth certificate free of charge, complete the following steps:
Step 1 - Identify the Error/Change
The information listed on your child's birth certificate is based on the Report of Live Birth submitted by your birthing facility to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Prior to discharge of the infant, the birthing facility collected paperwork from the parent(s) to record the child's name along with various information on the child's parent(s). The birthing facility then electronically submitted that information to us. While most Reports of Live Birth are submitted with 100% accuracy, sometimes typographical errors do occur.
If you gave birth at home, please contact our office at 724-656-3100 for assistance in correcting your child's birth record.
A Parent is Missing from the Record
If you listed a parent/father on your child's paperwork at the birthing facility but received a birth certificate that only lists the birth mother, we can update your child's birth record as follows:
If you are married and your child's birth certificate only lists one parent, please complete the Civil Status Form. This form may also be used for couples who marry after the birth of the child where the spouse of the birth mother is also the biological father of the child.
If you are married and had a child with someone other than your husband, you must contact our office at 724-656-3100 for further assistance. As required under legislation, we must notify your husband of this child's birth prior to adding the biological father to your child's birth record.
If you are an unmarried couple and both the birth mother and the biological father agree to be listed on the child's birth record, please complete an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form which must be filed with the Department of Human Services (DHS). For more information on the AOP process, read the Frequently Asked Questions on the DHS Child Support website or call DHS at 800-932-0211. Once you have submitted the AOP to DHS, proceed to Step 2.
If you are the biological parent of a child and unable to obtain an AOP, we can list you as the parent of your child once we receive an appropriate court order that demonstrates your parentage.
Adoptive Parent(s) -- If you adopted a newborn baby born in Pennsylvania, we will amend your child's birth record upon receipt of both a Certificate of Adoption and Decree of Adoption issued by the court. To obtain the amended birth certificate, please proceed to Step 6.
NOTE: Your child's birth certificate should display your (and your spouse's) last name(s) prior to first marriage. Therefore, if you changed your last name at time of marriage, your child's birth certificate should display your last name prior to your first marriage.
Step 2 - Submit the Correct Paperwork to Amend or Correct the Record
Birth Record Correction Form
If you believe the error on your child's birth certificate is due to a typographical error, please complete our Birth Record Correction Form
. This form is only used for the following items:
- Child's name
- Parent(s') name(s)
- Date and/or Time of Birth
- Sex of Child
- County of Birth
- To add a parent to the birth record after filing AOP
- Civil Status Form
If you are married and only the birth mother was listed on the child's birth certificate, complete this form to add the other parent. A copy of your marriage license application form must be submitted with the Civil Status Form.
Step 3 - Notarization of the Form
If the corrections to the birth record involve the last name of the child and/or parent(s), then the Birth Record Correction Form or Civil Status Form must be notarized.
Otherwise, if the child is under the age of 6 months and the correction does not involve the child's and/or parent(s') last name (other than minor spelling corrections), then the Birth Record Correction Form does not need to be notarized.
Step 4 - Sign the Birth Record Correction Form
The Birth Record Correction Form or Civil Status Form must be signed by all parent(s) currently listed on the birth certificate. If the form need notarized, then the parent(s) must sign in the presence of the notary. We are unable to accept a form that does not include each parents' signature listed on the child's birth record.
Step 5 - Return the Incorrect Birth Certificate and Apply for a Corrected Birth Certificate
We will provide to you free of charge a corrected birth certificate for errors reported to us within six months of your child's birth IF the incorrect birth certificate is submitted with the Birth Record Correction Form or Civil Status Form. If you have lost the child's incorrect birth certificate, you will need to remit payment of $20 to receive the updated birth certificate.
If your child is over the age of 6 months, you are still required to return the incorrect birth certificate with your order. However, you will need to remit payment of $20 to receive the updated birth certificate.
Step 6 - Apply for a Corrected Birth Certificate
To receive a corrected birth certificate, you must submit to us an Application for a Birth Certificate.
The payment of $20 is waived if your child is under the age of 6 months and if you are attaching the incorrect birth certificate to the application. The fee of $20 is required if you are requesting an amended birth certificate due to adoption or if you are requesting a corrected birth certificate for a child over the age of 6 months.
Please allow approximately four to six weeks for processing of your child's Birth Record Correction Form or Civil Status Form and issuance of the updated birth certificate.