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How Do I Locate Hospital Birth Records?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 12 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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The steps you'll need to take to locate hospital birth records may depend on why you are trying to locate them and whether they are your records or another party's. In general, you can contact the medical records department of a hospital to obtain birth records to which you are legally entitled. Usually, you will have to provide a written request for the records and sign forms to obtain them. If you want to obtain the records to perform genealogy research, you might begin your search using genealogy websites and by contacting the vital records department in the appropriate jurisdiction. In many cases, however, very old hospital records are difficult or even impossible to obtain, and you may have a bit more success with locating birth certificates and announcements.

To locate hospital birth records, you can start by contacting the hospital in question and asking to speak with someone in the medical records department. A representative of this department will likely inform you of the procedures for releasing information, and you will have to follow them to obtain the information you need. Usually, such requests will require you to sign a release-of-information form. In most cases, you will also have to prove your right to the information you are requesting. For example, you may have to demonstrate that you are requesting your own birth records or are the parent of the person in question.

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If you are trying to locate hospital birth records for other reasons, such as genealogy research, your job may prove a bit harder. You might find a genealogy research or archive website helpful for getting started with this type of search. In many cases, however, people learn that very old hospital birth records have been destroyed or lost. If you do locate them, you may then face the hurdle of proving you have a right to access them based on the laws in the jurisdiction. In some cases, you might find it easier to locate announcements of birth and sometimes even birth certificates than to obtain hospital birth records.

Your jurisdiction's department of vital records may be a source of help when you want information about a relative's birth but do not need hospital birth records. Often, these departments have special procedures for individuals interested in birth information for genealogy research. If you really need hospital records, a department of vital records may provide information about the location and date of your relative's birth. Then, you can research the hospitals that were in the area at the time, and if they are still there, request the records you need.

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