Social Security Number
You can apply two different ways.
1. When you give information for the birth certificate, there is a place that asks “do you want a social security number for your baby?” If you do, check the yes box. That is it. You will need to provide both the mother and father’s social security numbers on the birth certificate also. (not all counties give this service)
2. The second way is to wait and apply later at a Social Security Administration Office. (takes longer to do)
What are the reasons that I need a SS number for my baby?
Young children need a SSN for opening a bank account, to buy a savings bond, obtain medical coverage, obtain any government assistance such as WIC, Food stamps, or other services.
Do I have to pay for a card?
Do I need more that one card, or what if I loose the card?
Keep the card in a safe place. If you need a second one, for any reason, it is provided free of charge. But you will need to contact your SS office for assistance.
What documents do I need to take to the SS office to prove my identity as the infants parent?
This varies. For the Amish families in the area, they have had to take their bishop in to state who they are! (they do not have photo ID’s)
You will need at least two documents of evidence of your age, identity, and U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status.
AGE: your birth certificate, religious record made before you were 3 months old.
IDENTITY: a document in the name you want shown on the card. A photo ID, a state issued Photo ID. Driver’s license, Marriage or divorce record, military record, Adoption record, Life Insurance policy, Passport. Health Insurance card, School ID.
They can not accept photo copies or notarized copies, only original documents can be used.
How do you apply for a baby’s birth certificate?
Hospitals usually fill this out for you before you leave. They also require you to have your baby named before you leave the hospital. For most people this is ok. For some, you may not have decided yet what you want to name the baby. When I had my children, (in the hospital) I was told that I HAD to name my baby before I could be discharged. That was a LIE. You have up to one year to name your baby (in most states, check your local state law). You also have (again in most states) up to a year to file the birth certificate. Check your counties requirement a some require you to have it done by 3 months. Some counties want you to file right away, and will tell you that you have a time limit of about 30 days.
There is a work sheet that you will fill out, with the help of the midwife, and take it in to your local health department vital statistics. Check before the baby is born for how to obtain a copy of the birth certificate. You have to pay for a copy. It is usually less expensive to get an extra copy at the time you do the first one. You will need copies for your child’s school enrollment, work permit, drivers license, social security number, and in the future, a marriage license. Some counties only hold the information for 3-4 years, and after that you will need to contact your state department of vital statistics. Other counties will hold the information for ‘ever’. The county that my children were born, I can go to and still get a copy, even for myself (and I am over 50).
Will I have problems getting a birth certificate because I had a homebirth?
Usually no, but then there are those few counties that may give you a hard time. If you are given a hard time, ask to speak with the supervisor. Sometimes clerks are unaware of your rights as a parent, and will try to bully you. They may try to tell you that home birth is illegal, and so you are breaking the law. Remember that you have the legal right to have your birth anywhere you want to in this country. Home birth is NOT illegal They can NEVER regulate where you have your baby, (although many are trying), they can only regulate who helps you with your home birth (the midwife). Sometimes in states where the law is not in favor of the midwife, the father may sign the birth certificate as verifier and attendant. According to the law in some states, (as it is understood by most) the person who delivers the baby is defined as the person who cuts the cord. ( I am NOT an attorney, so do not take this information as gospel!)
You may need special information to take with you to identify yourself, so plan ahead. If you do not want to call when you are pregnant, and want to wait until after the baby is born they may give you a bit more hassle. It is best to call months early-so that are prepared. You may need to wait to file for about 6 months. This is because some counties require you to have a piece of mail with a post mark date on it as one piece of identifying paper. You may need one from when you are pregnant.