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What is the process for getting hospital birth records?

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Quick Answer

Medical records pertaining to a birth may be obtained by submitting a written request to the records department of the hospital or facility where the birth occurred, according to U.S. News & World Report. Birth certificates are vital records and may not be issued through hospitals, according to Sibley Memorial Hospital.

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Full Answer

Most medical facilities require a written authorization form and a picture ID in order to release medical records, according to U.S.News & World Report. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act includes a privacy rule that entitles all individuals to access their own medical records. A parent has a right to his own child's records unless he has lost legal custody rights. Many records departments charge a fee for providing records. Pricing varies and may be based on the laws of the state.

In order to obtain a copy of a birth certificate, one must submit a request to the vital statistics office for the state in which the birth took place, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The request should include the full name of the person whose record is being requested, the gender, names of parents, and date and place of birth. The reason for the request should be indicated along with the requestor's relationship to the person and a contact phone number. Checks and money orders are acceptable forms of payment for fees, made payable to the applicable office. Cash is not recommended when mailing the request.

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