In Britain, every birth is recorded in a register, which has sections for the various details about the birth of a new baby boy or girl. Among the details required to be filled in, will be the name of the child, its gender, the date and place of the birth, the names of the parents, their occupation (if any), the name of the attending physician and finally the race of the baby. These details are then passed on to a government agency whose job it is to store and maintain the records of any baby born in Britain should we need them in the future. Before the government agency took over the responsibilities of storing and maintaining the records of births 1853, it was the church that was in charge of this. Anybody who wanted their birth certificate, did not have access to the technology we have today.
As we grow older, our lives develop from the baby that we were, to the young man or woman we become. We go through school and then either go into a working life or maybe continue to some form of education. At some stage in our lives, we will more than likely be asked for our birth certificate, whether we are applying for a passport, or taking an exam, or opening a bank account, or we wish to get married.If you have moved to the United Kingdom, (as many have been doing in recent decades), from some less well off countries, there is a possibility you might not have been registered at birth. Perhaps your country suffered a civil war or was under occupation. In some cases the facilities or money is not there to create government agency where births can be registered. Fortunately some countries are registering retrospectively, which means they are playing catch up and there might be a chance to get your birth certificate, which is going to be essential if you have come to Britain, even if it is just to live and work.
In England and Wales, there are two types of certificates which can be issued upon request. The first one is more useful, as it includes more of the necessary information which most if not all places will ask for, this is known as the “full” birth certificate. The second option is the “short” birth certificate, which can be described as a summarised version of the full one. It includes fewer details than the full one. Technology is playing a more increasing role in our lives, especially when it comes to paper work. Books can now be read using an iphone or on laptops and personal computers and it is expected that this will continue to be the case, with more and more paper related items. Birth certificates are also categorised as paperwork and are likely to be scanned in. Not all families have scanners and most not all businesses have scanners, but if they do, it can greatly speed up the process of transferring, photo’s, contract or even birth certificates.
Britain has acquired many territories throughout history including nations such as New Zealand, Australia and the Falkland islands. These nations became known as commonwealth nations. The membership of the commonwealth invites you to participate in the Olympic games which are only for those nations which are British territories. In total the membership numbers 54 independent nations. If you do happen to be born in any of these 54 countries, it does not automatically make you a British citizen. Hong Kong is a former member of the commonwealth, until that came to an end in 1997. So it is possible that you need to register the birth in the United Kingdom if you decide you want to settle down here, whether with or without family. If even one of your parents are British, you should have the right to a British passport, but this does not mean your birth was registered in the United Kingdom, even if in your country of birth, your parents registered you with the British authorities.
With British interests spread around the world, from Gibraltar on the southern tip of Spain, to the Falkland islands in the southern Atlantic ocean to the African continent, there are plenty of job opportunities in territories which are British owned and would take a British citizen abroad. Whether it is short term for just a few months, or for longer term, say over at least 5 years, the exact details of a birth certificate should always be checked up on. It could turn out that your current country of residence may or may not be part of the Commonwealth, which might change your application process it you apply for one. Not all countries might have a British embassy or consulate, so the best advice would be to use the internet or post to contact the relevant authorities regarding a birth certificate. If you do decide to live outside the United Kingdom, applying for a birth certificate in the country you live in, would be a good idea in terms of job prospects. From country to country a birth certificate will appear different, but the use for one is similar if not the same. In America, the baby’s footprint appears, this however contrary to belief, is not a legal document, more a souvenir of the birth. Similar to the United Kingdom, a seal does appear on the legal American version, which is the version used for drivers license and passport applications. New Zealand, a popular destination with British people, has 3 different looking birth certificates. The first one being a standard one, the second having a background of greenery and forests and the last one has a beach like background, a reflection on the easy going attitude. Just like the United Kingdom, both the American and New Zealand reasons for applying for a birth certificate are to do with jobs, schools and opening a bank account and the people to contact are the local government agency.