August 2019 Vital Records News

MDH logo

Vital Records News

August 2019

Partnering with Child Support: Vital for a Reason

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Office of Vital Records (OVR) and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) have multiple interagency and data use/sharing agreements. These are in place so that public welfare and social service programs have birth data they need to provide benefits, support, and services that are critical to children, families, and adults who need them. In addition, some of the same DHS programs use vital record death data to end benefits, prevent improper payments, and prevent fraud. They also use death data to match against databases to assure that routine communications about programs and services aren’t sent to families when a child or other family member has died. Vital records contain sensitive information that may be public, confidential or private data. Minnesota Statutes, section 144.225 specifies who can get vital record data and certificates, depending on the nature of the data.

One of the biggest consumers of vital records birth data is the DHS Child Support Division (CSD). And, since August is Child Support Awareness Month, OVR has the opportunity to highlight this partnership. Child support workers in every county access Minnesota Registration & Certification (MR&C) to search birth records for information about children and parents. Every day, OVR sends an electronic file of all new and updated birth records to DHS so that birth data can interface with CSDs case management system and populate certain data fields. Birth data helps child support workers locate parents, establish parentage when children are born to unmarried parents, and ultimately establish orders for support which can include general, child care, and medical support.

DHS is responsible for the Minnesota Voluntary Recognition of Parentage program and OVR has some important responsibilities related to filing program documents. Unmarried parents may sign a Minnesota Voluntary Recognition of Parentage (ROP) form in front of a notary to establish the man as the biological father. Upon receiving a valid ROP, OVR updates the birth record to reflect the legal father. An alternative to a court order, ROPs are important to child support because they establish parentage. OVR files about 17,000 ROP documents annually. Approximately 172,000 children who currently have a Minnesota child support case were born outside of marriage.

Child support is important to many families. Last year about 239,000 children were served by the DHS Child Support program and $580.6 million was collected and disbursed in Minnesota.

Child Support Enforcement and Vital Records Information

More information about DHS Child Support Division is at DHS Child Support.

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement has an informational video on YouTube at this link  What is Child Support?

Do you protect data, check IDs, or issue vital records certificates?

County vital records office professionals

Vital records professionals are the first line of defense against fraud. They secure data, respect privacy, follow the law, and protect identities. The types of fraud and security risks are changing and growing faster than our technology. To help strengthen our knowledge and fraud prevention activities, the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS), the vital records and health statistics professional membership organization, is hosting its second annual Identity and Security Conference, November 4-5, 2019, in Washington D.C.

The event brings industry leaders, partners such as the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, U.S. Department of State, jurisdictions, and vital records representatives together for mutual education, training and policy. The event provides professional development to assure that the vital records community is equipped and ready to be an active and responsive part of our nation’s identity ecosystem. See the tentative agenda and additional information online at 2019 Identity & Security Conference.

The Office of Vital Records (OVR) encourages local vital records professionals to attend the conference to strengthen Minnesota’s front line, build knowledge, collaborate, and network with the nation’s top professionals in identity and security.

Because professional development is critical to a strong workforce, OVR will support the attendance of up to two local issuance staff at the 2019 Identity & Security Conference. OVR will cover registration and reimburse travel expenses.

To apply for consideration:

  1. Get approval from management to travel out-of-state to attend the conference.
  2. Address an email to Molly Crawford, State Registrar at
  3. Put “Proposal to Attend the NAPHSIS Identity & Security Conference” in the email subject line.
  4. Include the following in the body of the email (be clear and concise):
  • Explain how your attendance at the NAPHSIS Identity & Security Conference will benefit the vital records community and the citizens of Minnesota.
  • Describe how you will share what you learn at the conference with other local issuance vital records professionals (this is required).
  • The name and contact information for the person who can verify that you have approval to travel out-of-state.
  • Send your email to Molly no later than WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019.
  • OVR will review proposals and contact finalists in early September. If you have questions, email

    We want to hear from you!

    • What have you or your facility done to solve a registration or certificate issuance problem?
    • What questions do you want OVR to answer?
    • Are you interested in being a guest writer for a future newsletter? What topic?

    Put Vital Records News in the subject line and email your solutions, questions, ideas to One of the newsletter staff will contact you to get and give information.

    Related news...

    Disparities in Premature Death Amenable to Health Care, 2011 to 2015

    Minnesota Department of Health, Health Economics Program

    Key Findings

    • Higher rates of early death from conditions that are amenable to health care treatment and potentially avoidable were found in areas with high poverty in Minnesota.
    • Racially or ethnically diverse areas with high poverty had particularly high rates of early death for stroke and complications from common surgical procedures.
    • In addition to the personal and psychological impact of early deaths for families and communities, premature death represents lost future earning of approximately $73.2 million per year in diverse, high-poverty areas of the state.

    Read the full report at Issue Brief: Disparities in Premature Death Amenable to Health Care, 2011 to 2015

    From the CDC's MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report


    Vital Signs: Pharmacy-Based Naloxone Dispensing — United States, 2012–2018

    Data from the National Vital Statistics System


    Final birth data for 2018 was released on July 24, 2019. Public use birth data files  for 2018 are available for independent research and analyses.

    Read the accompanying NCHS Data Brief, Births in the United States, 2018  on the National Center for Health Statistics webpage at CDC.

    Contact the Office of Vital Records