COVID-19 response

As Alberta reopens, note that temporary changes to several acts and regulations that fall under the oversight of Service Alberta are no longer in effect as of August 15. Timelines or other obligations have returned to normal.

For more information, read the Fact Sheet (PDF, 311 KB).

To support a healthy relaunch, continue acting safely to prevent the spread. Find out how at alberta.ca/COVID19.

Overview

All births that occur in Alberta must be registered by the baby’s parents with the Alberta government. You can register your baby's birth information for one year from the baby's date of birth. After one year, the delayed registration process applies. A birth can only be registered once.

A birth certificate cannot be issued until the birth is registered.

When the mother/person who gave birth to the baby cannot register the birth information online or the baby is in the care and custody of a person other than the parents, contact Vital Statistics for special instructions.

Naming your baby

You have options when choosing a name for your baby. However, there are restrictions respecting personal names when choosing, altering or correcting a legal name on Vital Statistics certificates and documents.

Co-parent

A co-parent can be:

  • the biological parent of a child
  • the spouse/partner of the mother/person who gave birth to the baby

When the baby is conceived by assisted reproduction, the spouse/partner of the mother/person who gave birth is a co-parent when

  • the mother/person who gave birth and the co-parent were either married or in a conjugal relationship at the time of the assisted conception
  • the co-parent consented in advance of conception to being a co-parent of the resulting child and did not withdraw that consent before the child was conceived

For the full definition of who can be legally recorded as a co-parent, see sections 8 and 8.1 in the Family Law Act. A person helping you raise your baby or a guardian of the baby is not a co-parent on a Vital Statistics birth record.

The mother/person who gave birth to the baby and co-parent must both be present to certify the birth information when registering a baby’s birth online.

  • The co-parent cannot be recorded on the baby’s birth record when the co-parent is not present when registering the birth online.
  • When the co-parent is not present when the birth is being registered online, the co-parent may be added to the baby’s birth record later with an amendment; fees apply after 90 days (from the baby’s date of birth); contact Vital Statistics for details.

The only way to remove a co-parent after a birth is registered is with a court order.

Persons who become a parent as a result of a surrogacy order or an adoption order are recorded using a different process. Contact Vital Statistics for details if this applies to you.

Birth certificates

If you do not order birth certificates for your baby using the Online Birth Registry or you need to get another certificate/document, order birth certificates or birth documents from an Alberta registry agent.

Register a birth online

After your baby is born, if you have not already completed a paper Registration of Birth form, use the Online Birth Registry to register the birth information. Some exceptions may apply. A birth can only be registered once.

When you register your baby’s information online, you may also:

Exceptions

The Online Birth Registry cannot be used to register your baby’s birth information if:

  • your baby is not born in Alberta
  • your baby is one year old or older
  • you have already completed a paper Registration of Birth for your baby and sent it to Vital Statistics or left it with the medical facility/midwife
  • your baby is born with the aid of a surrogate mother
  • you are registering the birth of a baby you are adopting
  • you, the other parent or your baby have only one letter as a given name or last name
  • you, or the other parent, have a total of more than 68 characters in your given names
  • you, or the other parent, have a total of more than 68 characters in your last name
  • your baby will have a total of more than 70 characters in their given names
  • your baby will have a total of more than 40 characters in their last name

If any of the above exceptions apply to you, contact Vital Statistics for special instructions.

After you have registered your baby’s information online and Vital Statistics receives notice from the medical professional that assisted with the birth (for example, physician, registered midwife), Vital Statistics completes your child’s registration if all the requirements are met.

Register a home birth

A home birth may be planned or unplanned. A home birth is defined as:

  • a birth that occurred outside a medical facility
  • without the assistance of a physician, registered midwife, nurse or nurse practitioner

Home births require supporting evidence to register the birth. The following outlines the general process required to register a home birth in Alberta.

It is a criminal offence to fraudulently register a birth.

Step 1. Complete the request form

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Request for a Home Birth Package (PDF, 172 KB)

You can also call Vital Statistics and get the form sent to you.

Step 2. Send the request form

Send the Request for a Home Birth Package form to Vital Statistics by email, fax or mail.

Email: vsregistries@gov.ab.ca
Fax: 780-422-4225

Mail:
Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W7
Attention: Birth Unit

Vital Statistics will then send you a home birth package including details about the required evidence needed to support the birth details.

Step 3. Gather the required supporting evidence

Evidence supporting the baby’s birth is required using either Option A or Option B.

Option A: Medical letter

You will need a letter from a medical facility (for example, a hospital or medical clinic) visited within 48 hours after the baby’s birth.

The letter must be on medical facility letterhead and have the following information:

  • full name of the mother/person who gave birth
  • baby’s full name (if known by the medical facility)
  • baby’s sex (male/female)
  • baby’s date of birth
  • baby’s place of birth
  • date the mother/person who gave birth and the baby were examined at the medical facility
  • name of the person who examined the mother/person who gave birth and the baby (this must be a physician, registered midwife, nurse or nurse practitioner)
  • confirm who gave birth to the baby
  • name, contact information and signature of the person who wrote the letter (this must be the medical facility administrator or a physician, registered midwife, nurse or nurse practitioner)

Option B: Documentary evidence

You will need to provide evidence of each of the following:

  • that the mother/person who gave birth to the child was pregnant within the applicable time
  • that the mother/person who gave birth to the child was present in Alberta at the time of the birth
  • that the baby was born alive
  • the baby’s sex (male or female)

See the home birth proof guide for more detail about each of the above pieces of evidence.

Step 4. Mail the evidence to Vital Statistics

Mail the original supporting evidence documents to Vital Statistics for review.

Mail:
Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W7
Attention: Birth Unit

After Vital Statistics examines the documentation you sent and determines all the requirements are met, Vital Statistics will send you a letter explaining the final steps and the required birth form(s) to complete the registration of your child's birth.

Step 5. Complete the birth forms

Complete the Notice of a Live Birth form

  • this is a paper form completed and signed by the person who helped with the delivery of the baby
  • an online version of the Notice of a Live Birth Form is not available

Register your child's birth details through the Online Birth Registry

Step 6. Mail the birth forms

  • Send the completed Notice of a Live Birth form and any other applicable forms to the Vital Statistics office for review and registration.

Mail:
Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W7
Attention: Birth Unit

Vital Statistics will examine the documents and, if all requirements are met, register your baby's birth.

If you completed the birth registration information through the Online Birth Registry, you may order birth certificates for your baby at the end of the online registration process. After review and registration of your baby's birth, your online certificate request will be processed.

You may also order birth certificates or birth documents for your baby from an Alberta registry agent.

Delayed registration of birth

If a birth is not registered within one year from a baby’s date of birth, evidence and additional fees apply to register the birth. For full details, contact Vital Statistics.

Additional resources

Canada Learning Bond / Canada Education Savings Grant

Learn more about early savings for your child’s post-secondary education, such as

  • Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP)
  • Canada Learning Bond (CLB), which is available to eligible children from low income families

Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), which is available to all eligible children regardless of family income

Contact

Connect with the Service Alberta Contact Centre:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7013 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-4225

For the deaf or hard-of-hearing:
TTY: 780-427-9999 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free TTY: 1-800-232-7215 (in Alberta)

Email: vs@gov.ab.ca

Mail:
Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W7
Attention: Birth Unit

Courier:
Vital Statistics
Document Reception
John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5C5
Attention: Birth Unit