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 for one year from the baby’s date of birth at no cost. After one year, the delayed registration process including fees apply.

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

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

You have options when choosing a name for your baby; some restrictions apply.

Co-parent

A co-parent can be:

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

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

  • the 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.

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.

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

Birth certificates

You can order birth certificates or birth documents for your baby from a registry agent or Registry Connect depending on your location.

Register a home birth

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
  • where the person who gave birth and the baby were not transported to a medical facility immediately after the birth occurred

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

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.

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 person who gave birth
  • baby’s full name (if known by the medical facility)
  • baby’s sex
  • baby’s date of birth
  • baby’s place of birth
  • date the person who gave birth and the baby were examined at the medical facility
  • name of the person who examined the 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 person who gave birth to the child was pregnant within the applicable time
  • that the 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

More detail about each of the above pieces of evidence will be provided when Vital Statistics writes to you.

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

Once Vital Statistics examines the documentation you sent and when all the requirements are met, Vital Statistics will send you the birth forms to complete.

Step 5. Complete the birth forms

Complete the Notice of a Live Birth form

  • this form is completed and signed by the person who helped with the delivery of the baby

Complete the Registration of Birth form

  • this form is completed and signed by the parent(s) of the baby

Step 6. Mail the birth forms

  • Send the completed Notice of a Live Birth and Registration of Birth forms to the Vital Statistics office using the pre-addressed postage paid envelope provided by Vital Statistics.

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.

After a birth is registered, you can also order birth certificates or birth documents for your baby from a registry agent or Registry Connect depending on your location.

Choose a name for your baby

Last name options for a child:

  • A child may have a last name the parents agree on.
  • To join two last names, join them with or without a space or hyphen; it is your choice (for example: Jones Smith, JonesSmith or Jones-Smith). The order of the joined names is your choice too.
    • Never use a slash (/) or comma (,) to join names.
  • When parents cannot agree on the last name for their baby, the baby’s last name will be registered showing the last name of each parent hyphenated in alphabetical order.

A given and last name can use:

  • letters from the Roman alphabet (for example: a, b, c, or A, B, C)
  • Roman numerals (for example: II, III, IV)
  • numbers spelled out (for example: second, third)
  • a space to separate names (for example: David John)
  • a hyphen (-) to join names (for example: Mary-Anne)
  • a single letter (for example: J or B.); a space and/or period following the letter is optional
  • a period (.), an apostrophe (‘) and a hyphen (-)

All given and last names must begin with a letter and may contain non-consecutive hyphens, apostrophes and periods.

A given and last name cannot use:

  • a non-English alphabet (for example: Arabic script or Kanji)
  • numbers (for example: 1, 2, 3)
  • brackets ( ) or quotations (“ ”)

Do not use slashes (/), commas (,) or hyphens (-) to show there is a blank space between names.

Delayed registration of birth

If a birth is not registered within one year from the baby’s date of birth, there are additional requirements and a fee of $20 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

To connect with Vital Statistics:

Hours: 8:15 am - 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7013
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
TTY: 780-427-9999
Toll free TTY: 1-800-232-7215 (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-4225

Email: vsregistries@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 4W7
Attention: Birth Unit