County Clerk


When a birth occurs outside of a medical institution, the responsibility for registering the birth falls to the person attending the birth. As a result of the recent audit of the state office, the anticipation of federal regulations relating to the operation of vital records offices and the increasing awareness of the potential misuse of these documents, the state is altering its policy relative to the distribution of blank birth certificates ("BC") and consequently, to the procedure for registering an out-of-hospital birth.

Midwives in Michigan may or may not be licensed nurses and might possess a national "certification." There is currently no process for certifying midwives in Michigan. Blank birth certificates are no longer distributed to any midwives.

MDCH’s “Local Registrar's Manual" instructs local registrars to register an out-of-hospital birth as follows:

1. If the delivery was not attended by a licensed physician or by another licensed medical professional, the minimal procedures to follow in recording these births include:

  • Do not provide a blank birth record;
  • Provide a worksheet to the mother, attendant or informant to complete;
  • Parents come into clerk’s office with the baby, and have the following:
      If married:
    • driver's license or state issued ID
    • marriage license
    • completed BC worksheet with midwife's dated signature at bottom

      If unmarried:
    • driver's license or state issued ID
    • completed BC with midwife's dated signature at bottom
    • properly filled out Affidavit of Parentage or official copy of court paternity documents, if applicable

2. If self-delivered, delivered by a midwife who is unknown to the local registrar’s staff, or delivered under circumstances that warrant further proof or documentation, as determined by the local registrar, all of the above may be requested by the local registrar in addition to any of the following:

  • baptismal certificate
  • statement from a social services worker that the client was pregnant
  • or, a similar verification from a physician, or public health nurse
  • signed statement from a midwife documenting the name of the mother, who delivered, the date of the birth and place of birth, etc.

3. The local registrar’s office will type the BC from the worksheet.

4. The attendant and informant must sign the completed BC in the local clerk’s office

If the local registrar has reasonable cause (as determined by the local registrar) to question the validity of the information reported, additional information and/or evidence to support the facts may be required. The local clerk may employ any reasonable procedure that will confirm the information on the worksheet in order to insure that a birth certificate is not being filed fraudulently.

The local registrar is legally required to ascertain whether or not a woman has actually given birth when a request is made of the clerk's office for a birth certificate to be created because of a home birth.