Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 7. Vital Records
3/4/2021

Article 2. Birth Certificates.

§ 32.1-257. Filing birth certificates; from whom required; signatures of parents.

A. A certificate of birth for each live birth that occurs in the Commonwealth shall be filed with the State Registrar within seven days after such birth. The certificate of birth shall be registered by the State Registrar if it has been completed and filed in accordance with this section.

B. When a birth occurs in an institution or en route thereto, the person in charge of such institution or an authorized designee shall obtain the personal data, and prepare the certificate either on forms furnished by the State Registrar or by an electronic process as approved by the Board. Such person or designee shall, if submitting a form, secure the signatures required by the certificate. The physician or other person in attendance shall provide the medical information required by the certificate within five days after the birth. The person in charge of the institution or an authorized designee shall certify to the authenticity of the birth registration either by affixing his signature to the certificate or by an electronic process approved by the Board, and shall file the certificate of birth with the State Registrar within seven days after such birth.

C. When a birth occurs outside an institution, the certificate shall be prepared on forms furnished by the State Registrar and filed by one of the following in the indicated order of priority, in accordance with the regulations of the Board:

1. The physician in attendance at or immediately after the birth, or in the absence of such physician,

2. Any other person in attendance at or immediately after the birth, or in the absence of such a person,

3. The mother, the other parent, or, in the absence of the other parent and the inability of the mother, the person in charge of the premises where the birth occurred.

C1. When a birth occurs on a moving conveyance within the United States of America and the child is first removed from the conveyance in this Commonwealth, the birth shall be registered in this Commonwealth and the place where the child is first removed from the conveyance shall be considered the place of birth. When a birth occurs on a moving conveyance while in international waters or air space or in a foreign country or its air space and the child is first removed from the conveyance in this Commonwealth, the birth shall be registered in this Commonwealth although the certificate shall indicate the actual place of birth insofar as can be determined.

D. If the mother of a child is not married to the natural father of the child at the time of birth or was not married to the natural father at any time during the 10 months next preceding such birth, the name of the father shall not be entered on the certificate of birth without a sworn acknowledgment of paternity, executed subsequent to the birth of the child, of both the mother and of the person to be named as the father. In any case in which a final determination of the paternity of a child has been made by a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to § 20-49.8, from which no appeal has been taken and for which the time allowed to perfect an appeal has expired, the name of the father and the surname of the child shall be entered on the certificate of birth in accordance with the finding and order of the court.

Children born of marriages prohibited by law, deemed null or void, or dissolved by a court shall nevertheless be legitimate and the birth certificate for such children shall contain full information concerning the other parent.

For the purpose of birth registration in the case of a child resulting from assisted conception, pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 20-156 et seq.) of Title 20, the birth certificate of such child shall contain full information concerning the mother's spouse as the other parent of the child and the gestational mother as the mother of the child. Donors of sperm or ova shall not have any parental rights or duties for any such child.

In the event that any person desires to have the name of the father entered on the certificate of birth based upon the judgment of paternity of a court of another state, such person shall apply to an appropriate court of the Commonwealth for an order reflecting that such court has reviewed such judgment of paternity and has determined that such judgment of paternity was amply supported in evidence and legitimate for the purposes of Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States.

If the order of paternity should be appealed, the registrar shall not enter the name of the alleged father on the certificate of birth during the pendency of such appeal. If the father is not named on the certificate of birth, no other information concerning the father shall be entered on the certificate.

E. Either of the parents of the child shall verify the accuracy of the personal data to be entered on the certificate of birth in time to permit the filing within the seven days prescribed above.

Code 1950, § 32-353.15; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1984, c. 189; 1991, c. 611; 1994, cc. 796, 919; 2020, c. 900.

§ 32.1-257.1. Parents to report social security account number at time of child's birth.

Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405, as amended, the social security account number of each parent shall be reported in the manner prescribed and on forms furnished by the State Registrar.

1991, c. 95.

§ 32.1-258. Report of foundling; constitutes birth certificate.

A. Whoever assumes the custody of a living infant of unknown parentage shall report on a form and in the manner prescribed by the Board within seven days to the registrar of the county or city in which such child was found, the following information:

1. The date and place of finding;

2. Sex, race and approximate birth date of such child;

3. Name and address of the persons or institution with whom such child has been placed for care;

4. Name given to such child by the custodian of the child; and

5. Such other data as may be required by the Board.

B. The place where such child was found shall be entered as the place of birth.

C. A report registered under this section shall constitute the certificate of birth for such infant.

D. If such child is identified and a certificate of birth is found or obtained, any report registered under this section shall be sealed and filed and may be opened only by order of a circuit court of the Commonwealth or in accordance with subdivision A 7 of § 32.1-252.

Code 1950, § 32-353.16; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240.

§ 32.1-258.1. Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth; requirements.

Upon the request of either individual listed as the parent on a report of fetal death in the Commonwealth as defined in § 32.1-264, the State Registrar shall issue a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth for unintended, intrauterine fetal deaths occurring after a gestational period of 20 weeks or more. The requesting parent may, but shall not be required to, provide a name for the stillborn child on the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. The Board of Health shall prescribe a reasonable fee to cover the administrative cost and preparation of such certificate. This section shall apply retroactively to any circumstances that would have resulted in the issuance of a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth, as prescribed by the Board.

2003, cc. 537, 552; 2020, c. 900.

§ 32.1-259. Filing and registration of delayed birth certificates; refusal of registration; notice of right of appeal.

A. When the birth of a person born in this Commonwealth has not been registered, a certificate may be prepared and filed in accordance with regulations of the Board. Such certificate shall be registered subject to such documentary evidence requirements as the Board shall by regulation prescribe to substantiate the alleged facts of birth.

B. A certificate of birth registered one year or more after the date of birth shall be recorded on forms prescribed and furnished by the Board, marked "Delayed" and shall show on the face the date of the delayed registration.

C. A summary statement of the evidence submitted in support of the delayed registration shall be endorsed on the certificate.

D. 1. When an applicant does not submit the documentation required in the regulations for delayed registration or when the State Registrar finds reason to question the validity or adequacy of the proposed certificate or the documentary evidence, if the deficiencies are not corrected, the State Registrar shall not register the delayed certificate of birth and shall notify the applicant of the reasons for this action and shall also advise the applicant of his right to petition for a court order pursuant to § 32.1-260.

2. The Board may by regulation provide for the dismissal of an application which is not actively pursued.

Code 1950, § 32-353.17; 1954, c. 201; 1956, c. 260; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240.

§ 32.1-260. Petition for court order establishing record of birth when delayed certificate rejected; hearing; notice; findings; registration of court order.

A. If a delayed certificate of birth is rejected under the provisions of § 32.1-259, a petition for an order establishing a record of the date and place of the birth and the parentage of the person whose birth is to be registered may be filed with the circuit court of the county or city in which the person resides; or if the person is a citizen of this Commonwealth without a fixed residence or a resident of another state, the petition may be to the circuit court of the county or city in which such person's birth occurred. In case of a minor who has no parent or guardian, the application may be made by his next friend.

B. Such petition shall allege:

1. That the person for whom a delayed certificate of birth is sought was born in this Commonwealth;

2. That no record of birth of such person can be found in the records of the State Registrar or the county or city registrar;

3. That diligent efforts by the petitioner have failed to obtain the evidence required by regulations pursuant to § 32.1-259; and

4. That the State Registrar has refused to register a delayed certificate of birth; and

5. Such other allegations as may be required.

C. The petition shall be accompanied by the notice of the State Registrar made in accordance with subdivision D 1 of § 32.1-259 and all documentary evidence which was submitted to the State Registrar in support of such registration.

D. The court shall fix a time and place for hearing the petition and the petitioner shall give the State Registrar five days' notice of said hearing. The State Registrar, or his authorized representative, may appear and testify in the proceeding.

E. If the court finds from the evidence presented that the person for whom a delayed certificate of birth is sought was born in this Commonwealth, it shall make findings as to the place and date of birth, parentage, and such other findings as may be required and shall issue an order to establish a record of birth on a form furnished by the State Registrar. This order shall include the birth data to be registered, a description of the evidence presented in the manner prescribed by § 32.1-259, and the date of the court's action.

F. The clerk of court shall forward each such form to the State Registrar not later than the tenth day of the calendar month following the month in which the order was entered. Such form shall be registered by the State Registrar and shall constitute the certificate of birth, from which certifications may be issued in accordance with § 32.1-272.

Code 1950, § 32-353.18; 1954, c. 201; 1956, c. 260; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240.

§ 32.1-261. New certificate of birth established on proof of adoption, legitimation or determination of paternity, or change of sex.

A. The State Registrar shall establish a new certificate of birth for a person born in the Commonwealth upon receipt of the following:

1. An adoption report as provided in § 32.1-262, a report of adoption prepared and filed in accordance with the laws of another state or foreign country, or a certified copy of the decree of adoption together with the information necessary to identify the original certificate of birth and to establish a new certificate of birth; except that a new certificate of birth shall not be established if so requested by the court decreeing the adoption, the adoptive parents, or the adopted person if 18 years of age or older.

2. A request that a new certificate be established and such evidence as may be required by regulation of the Board proving that such person has been legitimated or that a court of the Commonwealth has, by final order, determined the paternity of such person. The request shall state that no appeal has been taken from the final order and that the time allowed to perfect an appeal has expired.

3. An order entered pursuant to subsection D of § 20-160. The order shall contain sufficient information to identify the original certificate of birth and to establish a new certificate of birth in the names of the intended parents.

4. A surrogate consent and report form as authorized by § 20-162. The report shall contain sufficient information to identify the original certificate of birth and to establish a new certificate of birth in the names of the intended parents.

5. Upon request of a person and in accordance with requirements of the Board, the State Registrar shall issue a new certificate of birth to show a change of sex of the person and, if a certified copy of a court order changing the person's name is submitted, to show a new name. Requirements related to obtaining a new certificate of birth to show a change of sex shall include a requirement that the person requesting the new certificate of birth submit a form furnished by the State Registrar and completed by a health care provider from whom the person has received treatment stating that the person has undergone clinically appropriate treatment for gender transition. Requirements related to obtaining a new certificate of birth to show a change of sex shall not include any requirement for evidence or documentation of any medical procedure.

6. Nothing in this section shall deprive the circuit court of equitable jurisdiction to adjudicate, upon application of a person, that the sex of such person residing within the territorial jurisdiction of the circuit court has been changed. In such an action, the person may petition for the application of the standard of the person's jurisdiction of birth; otherwise, the requirements of this section shall apply.

B. When a new certificate of birth is established pursuant to subsection A, the actual place and date of birth shall be shown. It shall be substituted for the original certificate of birth. Thereafter, the original certificate and the evidence of adoption, paternity or legitimation shall be sealed and filed and not be subject to inspection except upon order of a court of the Commonwealth or in accordance with § 32.1-252. However, upon receipt of notice of a decision or order granting an adult adopted person access to identifying information regarding his birth parents from the Commissioner of Social Services or a circuit court, and proof of identification and payment, the State Registrar shall mail an adult adopted person a copy of the original certificate of birth.

C. Upon receipt of a report of an amended decree of adoption, the certificate of birth shall be amended as provided by regulation.

D. Upon receipt of notice or decree of annulment of adoption, the original certificate of birth shall be restored to its place in the files and the new certificate and evidence shall not be subject to inspection except upon order of a court of the Commonwealth or in accordance with § 32.1-252.

E. The State Registrar shall, upon request, establish and register a Virginia certificate of birth for a person born in a foreign country (i) upon receipt of a report of adoption for an adoption finalized pursuant to the laws of the foreign country as provided in subsection B of § 63.2-1200.1, or (ii) upon receipt of a report or final order of adoption entered in a court of the Commonwealth as provided in § 32.1-262; however, a Virginia certificate of birth shall not be established or registered if so requested by the court decreeing the adoption, the adoptive parents or the adopted person if 18 years of age or older. If a circuit court of the Commonwealth corrects or establishes a date of birth for a person born in a foreign country during the adoption proceedings or upon a petition to amend a certificate of foreign birth, the State Registrar shall issue a certificate showing the date of birth established by the court. After registration of the birth certificate in the new name of the adopted person, the State Registrar shall seal and file the report of adoption which shall not be subject to inspection except upon order of a court of the Commonwealth or in accordance with § 32.1-252. The birth certificate shall (i) show the true or probable foreign country of birth and (ii) state that the certificate is not evidence of United States citizenship for the child for whom it is issued or for the adoptive parents. However, for any adopted person who has attained United States citizenship, the State Registrar shall, upon request and receipt of evidence demonstrating such citizenship, establish and register a new certificate of birth that does not contain the statement required by clause (ii).

F. If no certificate of birth is on file for the person for whom a new certificate is to be established under this section, a delayed certificate of birth shall be filed with the State Registrar as provided in § 32.1-259 or 32.1-260 before a new certificate of birth is established, except that when the date and place of birth and parentage have been established in the adoption proceedings, a delayed certificate shall not be required.

G. When a new certificate of birth is established pursuant to subdivision A 1, the State Registrar shall issue along with the new certificate of birth a document, furnished by the Department of Social Services pursuant to § 63.2-1220, listing all post-adoption services available to adoptive families.

Code 1950, § 32-353.19; 1956, c. 259; 1960, c. 451; 1972, c. 823; 1977, c. 531; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1984, c. 219; 1991, c. 600; 2003, c. 985; 2011, cc. 486, 784; 2014, c. 621; 2015, cc. 5, 17; 2020, cc. 465, 466.

§ 32.1-261.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1991, c. 95.