Birth registration

Registration of vital events including births is the mandate of the Births and Deaths Registry.

Vital registration in Ghana began as far back as 1888. However, at its inception, it was limited to the registration of deaths. It was not until 1912 that the registration of births was introduced. The registration system has gone through a series of transformations, just as the law establishing it has seen a number of amendments. All this was aimed at improving upon the final delivery of the system.

Starting as the Cemeteries Ordinance of 1888, it was first amended in 1891. In 1912, it became the Births, Deaths and Burials Ordinance, which was once again amended in 1926. This was finally replaced with the Registration of Births and Deaths Act of 1965, (Act 301) which is the legislation currently in force. The Births and Deaths Registry was therefore established by the Act 301 of 1965, within the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, to handle and develop the births and deaths registration system in Ghana. Its core business is to provide accurate and reliable information on all births and deaths occurring within Ghana for Socio-economic development of the Country through their registration and certification.

PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS IN GHANA

1. The birth of every child is to be registered in the district where the birth occurred.

2. There is no de jure or de-facto discrimination between mothers and fathers in the registration process. The father’s name is entered even if the parents are not married.

3. It is the duty of the father or mother or both to report the birth of a child for registration. In the case of the death or the incapacity of the father and mother, one of the following persons is allowed by law to report the birth for registration.

(a) The owner of the premises in which the child is born.

(b) A person present at the birth

(c) A person having charge of the child to furnish the prescribed particulars of registration.

4. The informant will be required to produce evidence of birth, such as a clinical weighing card, (in the absence of this a baptismal certificate issued not more than 5 years after the birth of the child).

5. A Registration Assistant administers a questionnaire, (the Birth Report Form ‘A’) to the informant. Information thereby collected is recorded in the Register of Births following which a Birth Certificate is issued.

6. The birth should be registered, free of charge within 12 months of occurrence. Registration outside this period attracts a prescribed fee.

7. The law establishing birth registration makes provision for late registration of births. It however, stipulates that the birth shall not be registered after the expiration of 12 months from the date of birth except with the written authority of the Registrar of births and Deaths and upon payment of the prescribed fee.

8. The parent or child can apply for a certified copy of entry in the Register of births any time the need arises.

NOTE: ONLY THE FULL NAME OF THE CHILD SHALL BE USED FOR THE PURPOSES OF BIRTH REGISTRATION. SHORT FORMS OF NAMES AND TITLES ARE NOT ACCEPTED.

The mother’s name shall always be THE FULL MAIDEN NAME of the mother.

PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION OF BIRTH AFTER TWELVE (12) MONTHS

1. Informant reports birth at the nearest Registry Office in the locality where birth occurred.

2. Registration Assistant interviews Informant and partially completes Form ‘A’ and the Declaration Form.

3. Informant pays prescribed fee.

4. Informant declares the partially completed documents before a Commissioner of Oaths, Court Registrar or Notary Public supported by any of the following:

  1. Clinical Weighing/Notification of birth card
  2. Baptismal Certificate
  3. Extract from Family Records Book
  4. Affidavit from one of the parents

5. Registration Assistant attaches a covering letter to the declared documents to the Regional Registration Officer through the District Registration Office for approval and authority or otherwise.

6. Regional Registration officer returns the approved documents with his authority to the Registration Assistant.

7. Registration Assistant makes entry into the Register of Births and forwards the completed registration forms to the Central Registry Office through the District and Regional Registration offices for the finalization and authentication of the certificate.

WHO IS AN INFORMANT IN BIRTH REGISTRATION?

According to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act of 1965(Act301) section 8 sub-section 3 it shall be the duty of the following persons (hereto referred as an informant) to furnish particulars (information) for birth registration.

  1. The father and the mother of the child.
  2. In case of deaths or incapacity of father and mother:-
  3. The occupier of the premises in which the child is born, if he has knowledge of the birth.
  4. A person present at birth
  5. A person having charge of the child to furnish the prescribed particulars for registration

NOTE: A child cannot report his or her birth irrespective of age.

NO BIRTH SHOULD BE REPORTED FOR REGISTRATION MORE THAN ONCE

Contact the Births and Deaths Registry

http://www.eservices.gov.gh/bdr/SitePages/bdr-home.aspx