Getting copies of birth certificates

Looked after children may need copies of their birth certificates for a number of reasons. This page looks at how to get a usable copy.

Parents and carers of all children will need copy of the child's birth certificate at times in the child's life, and this is no exception for children who are looked after.  Examples of when a birth certificate may be required include applying for a passport and when there are Court proceedings, specifically those in relation to adoption.

Where a child becomes subject of an Interim or full Care Order there is a need to ensure that a copy of the birth certificate is obtained immediately on the order being made, as this will be required during the course of the child being looked after (e.g. if a Placement Order is required or if the child is in a long term placement and requires a National Insurance Number when they are 15 / 16).

Where possible the original birth certificate should be obtained from the birth parents and returned to them when no longer required (for example when the passport has been obtained), and when a child is returned home.

There will however be occasions when it is not possible to get the birth certificate from the parents (e.g. it is missing or the relationship with the parents has broken down).  In these circumstances you will need to apply for a certified copy.  There are three ways in which a birth certificate can be obtained: