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A birth certificate establishes your child's legal identity. During your child's life, he or she will need an official birth certificate on many occasions, such as to obtain a Social Security card, passport, driver's license or marriage license. Additionally, a birth certificate will be required to enroll your child in school and to participate in school-sponsored activities. As an adult, your child will need to show proof of birth to get a job, open a bank account, earn retirement benefits and more.
Registering Your Child's Birth
When you have a baby at a Sharp hospital, you will receive the necessary paperwork to obtain your child's birth certificate and be able to register your child's birth. Please note that, by law, you must register the birth of your child within 10 days of the birth.
Note: None of Sharp's hospitals (Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Sharp Grossmont Hospital or Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns) issue birth certificates — they are issued by the local vital records office. See below for more information.
Obtaining a Certified Copy of Your Child's Birth Certificate
Once your baby's birth is registered, you can request a certified copy and/or informational copy of your baby's birth certificate from either the local health department, county recorder in the county where your child was born or the state office of vital records.
To obtain a certified or informational copy of a birth certificate for a child born in San Diego County visit the Ernest J. Dronenburg Jr. Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk website, which provides instructions on how to request a birth certificate in person, by mail or online.
Obtaining a Social Security Number for Your Child
You may obtain a Social Security number for your child by contacting the nearest Social Security office. There is never a charge for a Social Security number and card from the Social Security Administration. For more information or to find the nearest Social Security office, call 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security Administration online.
Note: Parents who give birth at Sharp Grossmont Hospital may apply for Social Security cards through the hospital's Birth Certificate office. Parents will need a valid US address (PO Boxes are acceptable). Additionally, the baby's weight must be more than 1,000 grams (2.2 lbs.). Contact the Social Security Administration office to obtain cards for surrogate births and adoption — as these births require special paperwork
Establishing paternity is the process of establishing legal fatherhood. When parents are unmarried, paternity is not automatically established and the father doesn't have the legal rights or responsibilities of a parent. The Paternity Opportunity Program helps form a legal link from father to child. This free program establishes paternity voluntarily, without going to court. To learn more about this program, visit the Department of Child Support Services online.
Baby Footprints and Handprints
While none of Sharp's hospitals (Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Sharp Grossmont Hospital or Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns) offer a service for creating baby foot or handprints, parents are encouraged to bring their own inkpad with washable ink and supplies to create a memento of their choice.