Registry of Births
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A registry of births is usually part of The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages for each country. Their main concern is the recording and documentation of the above life events, and to provide statistics deriving from these acts.
Often access to records of birth registry are restricted due to privacy concerns. This often means that there is a 100 year restriction, so that records cannot be obtained for individuals who may still be alive.
For family historians, researchers, and genealogists, and all those interested in obtaining documents will be pleased to know that there is no such restriction in obtaining certified copies of such records from England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
In addition to there being no time restriction, you do not have to have a relationship to the person you are requesting a certificate on. Provided sufficient information is available and supplied, then payment made, then the certificate, if located, should be released to the applicant.
The General Register Office of England and Wales practices a fifty year rule with regards to births, where the details of parents should be supplied for births that have occurred in the past fifty years. However, this is not an actual law, but a practice the GRO has implemented, in part due to identity fraud.
Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in England and Wales on 1st July 1837, in Northern Ireland on 1st April, 1845, and in Scotland on 1st January, 1855. Prior to these dates, records can be obtained from the registers maintained in the parish of the local church. The records would be for birth and baptisms, marriages and burials.
Australia also uses the term Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. They have divided their registries on state lines. New South Wales (NSW), Northern Territory (NT), Queensland (QLD), South Australia (SA), Tasmania (Tas), Victoria (Vic) and Western Australia (WA).