View Full Version : legal family papers

04-08-2014, 03:54 PM
In france, when a couple gets married, the city council gives them a "family booklet" with their names, dates of birth, wedding date, names of parents... And when they have a child, his/her name, date of birthe are added in it.
Is there an equivalent in the United States and if yes wht's'its name?
My MC needs infos from his birth... Touside the birth certificate)

04-08-2014, 04:10 PM
Hospitals will often sell fancy certificates of birth. These are NOT legal documents. Some families purchase baby books where they record things like first steps and where they would keep such a certificate.

Some families will purchase the actual legal certified certificate of live birth and keep it in the baby book or with other legal papers.

My family had a fancy certificate for me, but I had to buy the legal one when I obtained my first passport.

There is no national uniformity in the US like there is in many European countries. Things vary greatly from state to state and even by county or city within a state. In what state and what year is your story?

04-08-2014, 04:12 PM
It' the actuak year in Montana, sorry (not colorado...)

04-08-2014, 05:52 PM
Some families have a tradition of recording lineage in a family bible that gets passed on to subsequent generations. It's certainly not official, although I believe the legal system allows for it as evidence of Family Facts. (Evidence Rule 804, is what I found online..."Family facts, including records kept in family bibles.") Perhaps someone with a legal background could verify this for you.

04-08-2014, 06:07 PM
Thanks for your answers. So the equivalent doesn't exist. That's'a good answer for me too. Fits better in my story :p

04-08-2014, 07:02 PM
I am in MA, USA.

With my first child I got a nice letter, certificate, a sort of baby book, etc., all from the town I lived in. I later learned most towns did not do this. My second two children, in the same town, got nothing, so the town eventually stopped this.

I hear in Finland you get a box with all sorts of 'stuff' in it, and the box can be used as a little cradle for the first few weeks of the baby's life. (If you want to use it as such.) It's a tradition there.

In the US there is nothing standardized by town/city, county, state or the country as a whole. However, as a writer, you could 'create' a letter or booklet that the town gives the parents and baby. Use my town as a model. I'm sure some towns or counties still do this here and there in the US.

04-08-2014, 09:52 PM
Nope, not a US thing. When we got married we got the pretty sterile looking marriage license from the town and after the kids were born we got the birth certificates from the health department. Any sort of family books are just that, family tradition.

That sounds cool though. :-)

04-09-2014, 09:28 AM
That it doesn't exists is better for my story that if it existed lol. Strange though that you don't get such papers. In France they are quite useful. Even if just to prove that your child really is your child.

04-09-2014, 09:35 AM
That it doesn't exists is better for my story that if it existed lol. Strange though that you don't get such papers. In France they are quite useful. Even if just to prove that your child really is your child.

That's a birth certificate - everyone has one of those. It lists your parent(s), date and place of birth, basic stats like that. They're used for lots of things, from registering a child for school to prove your identity when obtaining other forms of identification like driver's licenses or passports.

A marriage certificate (another legal document anyone marrying gets) is a separate thing.

These are all issued by the local authorities, not the federal (United States) government.

04-09-2014, 04:30 PM
arcan, what do you want for your story?

It would be very difficult for a young person in 2014 to not have a legal copy of hir birth certificate in the house. As Cprnflake said, it's needed to register for school. And now it's needed to get a driving license and a job.

04-09-2014, 05:54 PM
A SC wants to know if my MC's'parents really are his biological parents. But as My MC' french he refers to the french document. From what all of you just told me, it's'close enough to the birth certificate-though not quite the same. I want him to react properly at my MC' answer. I'll change that part a little.

Cathy C
04-09-2014, 06:08 PM
Ah! Normally the hospital gets this information and it appears on a birth certificate. But the mother is the one who advises the hospital and there are times when she can say "unknown", even if she knows. That's where paternity lawsuits come in. :)

ETA: Here's what a U.S. Birth Certificate looks like (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/birth11-03final-acc.pdf). The style varies from state to state, but this is pretty close to what information appears.