Obtaining a birth certificate and social security number for your born at home baby is usually a simple process. In Kentucky, as of July 15, 2020 this process is completed through the state Office of Vital Statistics in Frankfort. Prior to this date, it was completed in each county through the Vital Statistics Registrar at the county health department.

If your birth was attended by a licensed provider such as an LCPM, CNM, or a physician, your provider will be able to register the birth electronically using the state KY-CHILD online system. This is the same system used by birthing hospitals to register a birth.

If you are not working with a licensed provider or if you are planning an unassisted birth, you will need to complete a manual process using paper forms.

The state has a website with information at https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/dehp/vsb/Pages/homebirths.aspx

Information on filing paper forms

Download the state Guide for Homebirth Registration
Download the state Live Birth Registration Worksheet

The Live Birth Worksheet contains a box to check yes or no to request a social security number for your child. This is all you need to do to request a social security number. The social security card will automatically be mailed to your residence as listed on the worksheet.

Additional Documentation Required

If you are filing the paper forms, you generally will need at least three pieces of “evidence.” The requirements for acceptable evidence have changed as of July 15, 2020. Please pay special attention to the requirements if you are not using a provider who is licensed in Kentucky.

Evidence of Mother’s Pregnancy

OVS must receive at least one (1) piece of evidence documenting the mother’s pregnancy, which may include, but is not limited to:

  • A prenatal or postnatal medical record that is consistent with the date of delivery and includes the mother’s name, mother’s date of birth, date of health exams, healthcare provider’s signature, healthcare provider’s printed name, signature date, and license number; or
  • A statement from a physician, licensed midwife, or other licensed healthcare provider qualified to determine pregnancy (must include mother’s name, mother’s date of birth, provider’s printed name, provider’s signature, signature date, and license number); or
  • A record of a home visit by licensed public health nurse or other licensed healthcare provider who has firsthand knowledge of the pregnancy; or
  • Other evidence acceptable to the State Registrar.
Evidence of Live Birth

OVS must receive at least one (1) piece of evidence documenting that the child was born alive, which may include, but is not limited to:

  • A signed-and-dated statement from the physician, licensed midwife, or other licensed healthcare provider who saw or examined the child within the first two weeks of life (must include provider’s license number; if provider is licensed in a state other than Kentucky, proof of licensure must also be submitted); or
  • A signed-and-dated statement of observation of the child during a home visit by a licensed public health nurse or other licensed healthcare provider during the first two weeks of life (must include provider’s license number; if provider is licensed in a state other than Kentucky, proof of licensure must also be submitted); or
  • Other evidence acceptable to the State Registrar.
Evidence of Mother’s Presence in Kentucky on the Date of Birth

OVS must receive evidence documenting that the mother was present in Kentucky on the date of the child’s birth, from one (1) of either of the following subsections (A, B, or C), depending on the circumstances of the mother’s residency at the time of birth.

A) If the birth occurred in the mother’s residence, OVS will require one (1) of the following:

  • A driver’s license, or state-issued ID, that includes the mother’s current address; or
  • A rent receipt, mortgage statement, or deed that includes mother’s name and Kentucky address; or
  • A utility, telephone, or other bill that includes mother’s name and Kentucky address;
  • A recent pay stub that includes mother’s name and Kentucky address; or
  • Other evidence acceptable to the State Registrar.

B) If the birth occurred outside of the mother’s residence, and the mother is a resident of Kentucky, OVS will require ALL of the following:

  • An affidavit from the tenant/owner of the premises where the birth occurred, stating the mother was present on those premises at the time of birth; and
  • Evidence of the tenant/owner’s residence similar to that required for births that occurred at the mother’s residence listed above in subsection (A); and
  • Evidence of the mother’s residence in Kentucky similar to that required for births that occurred at the mother’s residence listed above in subsection (A); or
  • Other evidence acceptable to the State Registrar.

C) If the mother is not a resident of Kentucky, OVS will require documentary evidence—deemed acceptable to the State Registrar—that clearly and convincingly proves the mother’s presence in Kentucky on the date of the child’s birth.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As of July 24, 2020, Kentucky Birth Coalition is actively in conversation with the Office of Vital Statistics regarding the requirements listed above. We recognize that not every person wishes to receive care from a licensed provider, and as such, the above requirements may pose undue burden on parents. We will update this information if any changes are made by the state.

All documents required by OVS to file a Certificate of Live Birth as stipulated above must be sent to OVS within five (5) working days of the child’s birth. These should be mailed to:

Attn: Vital Events Unit
Office of Vital Statistics
275 East Main Street, 1 E-A
Frankfort, KY 40621

Please do not attach documents together with staples, paper clips, tape, etc.

For any question pertaining to filing a birth record, call 502-564-4212 and ask to speak with the Vital Events Unit Supervisor.

Obtaining a Copy of the Birth Certificate

You will NOT automatically receive a copy of the birth certificate. To receive a certified copy of your baby’s birth certificate, you can fill out an application and mail it to Frankfort, fill out a form online, or you can go to Frankfort in person. All of that information is available here:  https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/dehp/vsb/Pages/birth-certificates.aspx

If you are registering your child’s birth by submitting paper documents, you can submit the application for the birth certificate and payment at the same time.

We recommend ordering a copy of the birth certificate soon after birth to keep in your records. You may need this for health insurance or other purposes, and it is better to have it on hand than to later be scrambling to get a copy at the last minute!

Be sure to register your child’s birth before their first birthday. After their first birthday, different forms must be used and the process may be more complicated. If your child is more than seven years old, the paperwork must be completed directly by the Office of Vital Statistics in Frankfort.

Get information about registering a birth after your child’s first birthday here: http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/kar/901/005/020.pdf