The Minnesota Legislature recently voted to adopt and amend certain statutes that will affect vital records. Hospitals may want to review their processes prior to August 1, 2013, when these laws take effect.
Time period for corrections to birth records extended to one year or until certificate issuance
Currently, families have up to 45 days from the date of filing to make corrections to a birth record free of charge. Effective August 1, 2013, the correction period will be extended to one full year from the child’s date of birth, free of charge, unless a certificate has been issued.
After one year or issuance, any change to certification items (print on the certificate) must follow the amendment process, which requires fees and documentation. Even if a certificate is purchased within days of the birth, no change will be made without the $40 amendment fee and documentation.
Changes made to a child’s last name after an ROP is filed are still restricted to minor spelling corrections.
Free or discounted exchanges of birth certificates not permitted
After August 1, certificates cannot be exchanged after correction, amendment or replacement. All language about discounted certificates has been removed from the statute. Birth certificates cost $26.
What does this mean for hospitals and county issuance offices?
These changes make it especially important for parents to have an opportunity to proofread the information on their baby’s birth record. We recommend using the “Verification of Birth Facts” form printable from MR&C at the hospital, and we strongly suggest that local county issuance offices print Parent Notices prior to issuance.
Security of vital records system
Birth record and user audits are already built into the Minnesota Registration & Certification (MR&C) system, but all users will be required to maintain a specified level of training and provide written acknowledgement of security procedures and penalties. Birth data is also subject to validation. Hospitals may have to submit new user agreements and provide details about their training practices.
OSR becomes OVR
The “Office of the State Registrar” officially will be called the “Office of Vital Records” effective August 1. This seems to better describe the activity in our office.
Same sex marriages
Marriage between persons of the same sex will be legal in Minnesota and we will recognize same sex marriages which occurred in other jurisdictions. This will affect birth registration as follows:
--Married female parents can both be named on the birth record at the hospital. (Until the MR&C system data-entry screens can be changed, enter the female spouse’s information in the “Father’s Demographic Information” page.)
--If a putative father wants to indicate his interest in the child he may use the Minnesota Father’s Adoption Registry (MFAR) but his name and information will not appear on the birth record.
--Married male parents will follow the current process (biological fathers can sign an ROP with the gestational carrier; the other father will adopt the child)
(Please Note: although the language on-screen and on the current forms for validating birth data (Parent Notice and Verification of Birth Facts) is labeled “mother” and “father” birth certificates are currently labeled “parent” and “parent.”)