In a majority of states, you can obtain birth certificates for your dossier from the state's Department of Health or Bureau of Vital Records/Statistics. In a few states, however, there is no state office where you can obtain birth certificates. For those select states you may obtain birth certificates from the county office where you were born.
Marriage certificates can also often be obtained from the state's Department of Health or Bureau of Vital Records/Statistics. But for approximately half of the states, marriage certificates can only be obtained from the county where you were married.
Listed below are links to the offices or departments for each state.
Please verify before sending any request:
- that the documents can be ordered over the telephone or online;
- that the mailing address is accurate;
- that the listed fees are current;
- if the office/department can affix the state's apostille to the certificate at the same time (e.g., Michigan). If so, be sure to tell them from what country you are adopting.
Most offices will expedite a birth or marriage certificate for an additional fee. Payment should be made with a money order or certified check, however many offices now accept credit card orders by phone or fax. Never send cash.
A list of each state's Department of Health office or Bureau of Vital Records/Statistics can also be found on the website of the National Center for Health Statistics.
Another site very helpful for obtaining birth certificates is www.vitalchek.com.