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Amending Oklahoma Birth and Death Certificates

An Oklahoma birth  or death certificate may require an amendment if the initial information was either recorded in error, was provided in error, was missing (not provided at the time of registration), or has since legally changed. In accordance with state law, amended records are marked “amended” and the date of the amendment, as well as a summary description of the evidence will be indicated on the record. The only exception to this is a change to whom is legally named as a parent resulting from an adoption or paternity action. By law changes to parentage are confidential; the original record is sealed and the final record is not marked as amended.

All amendment requests are subject to review of the applicant’s legal eligibility to make the request, any previous amendments to the record, any previous court or administrative action, and verification of acceptable supporting documentation. Specific instructions will be made on a case-by-case basis once we have received a complete application(birth or death application), a copy of applicant’s photo ID, appropriate fees (Birth or Death) and a brief note explaining the amendment requested i.e. what item needs to be changed, how it currently appears, and what the item should be amended to show.

We strongly recommend that families review birth certificates with the birth clerk and death certificates with the funeral director to catch any errors prior to the records being filed.  

Requests for amendment of a birth record should be submitted by the adult subject or a named parent on the record (if the subject is a minor).

Requests for amendment of a death record should be submitted through the Funeral Home of record when possible. A request can also be submitted by a family member with legal authority for the decedent’s estate or by a legal representative.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Amendment Fees

Minor Error Correction

Major Error Correction

Correction of Error in the Bottom/Physician Section (Death Certificate)

Legal Change of Information e.g. Name or Sex

Parental Title Change

Adoption

Surrogacy

Paternity/Parentage

Administrative Law Judge

 

Amendment Fees 
Please refer to the fee schedule (Birth or Death) for the applicable fees.

 

Minor Correction of Error (Birth or Death)
A minor error on a certificate can typically be described as a typographical or clerical error e.g. Mother’s name is Carol not Carole or Father’s birthdate is June 4 not April 6 (reversal of numbers). These types of errors can often be amended based on documentation such as early school records, military records, marriage license, parent birth record, etc. which definitively establish what the correct version of the information is. These documents must be an official record that can be verified with the issuing source. To request a minor amendment, please submit a complete application (birth or death application), a copy of the applicant’s photo ID, applicable fees (Birth or Death), and a brief note explaining what action is requested. You are encouraged to also submit any supporting documentation you have for our review. Specific instructions will be provided back based on the specifics of your case.

Major Correction of Error
(Birth or Death)
A major error is information that was provided or recorded completely in error. This may include for example changing Mother’s name from Emily to Jackie, completely changing multiple elements of a parent’s date of birth, or when the sex of subject was recorded in error.  These types of errors can be amended with a court order based on documentation such as early school records, military records, marriage license, parent birth record, etc. which definitively establish what the correct information is. These documents must be an official record that can be verified with the issuing source. To request a major amendment, please submit a complete application (birth or death application), a copy of the applicant’s photo ID, applicable fees (Birth or Death), and a brief note explaining what action is requested. You are encouraged to also submit any supporting documentation you have for our review. Specific instructions will be provided on a case-by-case basis as to what documents are recommended and whether the order can be obtained through the OSDH Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) or if it must be obtained from a district court. District Court orders must be issued by either a U.S. Court or recognized tribal court . [Note: If sex was recorded correctly in the attendant’s opinion, but was actually incorrect due to a condition which made it difficult to determine, we will require a physician’s statement to amend. Please contact our office for the form which needs to be completed by your physician.]

Correction of an Error in the bottom/Medical portion of a Death Certificate
This section includes the cause and manner of death
, as well as other pertinent information related to the circumstances of the death. These items may only be amended based on the request of either the medical examiner or the attending physician as indicated on the original filed certificate of death.

Legal Change of Information e.g. Name or Sex/Gender
-  A legal change occurs when the information was recorded correctly at the time of birth, but is now being changed by a court action.
A legal change of information requires a certified copy of a court order from either a US District Court or a recognized tribal court. This should be submitted along with a complete application (birth or death application), a copy of the applicant’s photo ID, applicable fees (Birth or Death), and a brief note explaining what action is requested. The court order should identify the subject by the full legal name on the birth certificate, date and place of birth. If the applicant(s) is the parent of a minor child, the parent(s) should also be named in the order. The order should identify what item(s) are being changed, what the original state of that item is, and what it should be shown as after amendment. Note: If name is being amended, there should be no abbreviations or omissions in the final name. The name on the final record will be reflected exactly as indicated in the order. [Note: if sex was recorded correctly at the time of birth but is now being legally changed, we do not require a physician’s statement; however, the judge may require one prior to issuing an order.]

 

Changing a Parental Title
Historically parents have been referenced as either Mother or Father on a birth certificate. Oklahoma Vital Records now offers parents the ability to choose a personal parental title that best reflects how they see themselves. Choices include Mother, Father or Parent and are not limited by the sex of the parent. Both parents may share the same title. If a parent would like to change his/her parental title, we will require a completed application, photo ID, appropriate fees and a brief note explaining what title should be changed from and changed to. The record will be marked as amended, but no court order is required.

 

Adoption
An adoption occurs when one or both of the individuals determined at the time of birth to be the natural parent(s) are changed to indicate an individual(s) who is not a natural parent. The parental information as well as the child’s name (if desired) will be updated in accordance with Oklahoma law and upon receipt of the certified court order and other required information.

When an adoption occurs, the original birth certificate is sealed and replaced with the new birth certificate that indicates the new legal parents. In accordance with state law, the original birth certificate and court documents are placed in a sealed confidential file. If the adoption was finalized prior to Nov 1, 1997 a court order is required to access the original record. If the adoption was finalized after Nov 1, 1997 the adopted person may request an uncertified copy of the original file if the conditions of OSS Title 10 § 7505-6.6 D. are met.

Note: if a person was born in another state but adopted through a court in the State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Vital Records will not have a copy of that court action or the Adoption Decree. We do not maintain birth or adoption records for individuals who born in other states. Oklahoma Vital Records will only have information if the person was born in Oklahoma regardless of where the legal adoption occurred. If you are adopting a child who was born in Oklahoma, check with your attorney or the court to assure the appropriate documents are provided to our office.

When applying for a copy of the birth certificate for a child born in Oklahoma after the adoption was filed, the application should be completed using the adoptive birth facts e.g. the new name of the child (if changed) and the name(s) of the new parent(s).

 

Surrogacy
If a delivering mother agreed to become pregnant in order to carry a child for someone else in accordance with a pre-arranged legal arrangement, the original birth record will be registered with the information of the delivering mother in accordance with state law (OSS Title 63 § 1-311F.). Once the required legal documents are received by Vital Records, the original record will be sealed and the receiving parent(s) will be added to the record. The resulting record will not be marked as amended. Please contact the Vital Records office prior to delivery of the baby to assure all the required legal documents are submitted before the birth certificate is issued.

Paternity and Parentage
If the delivering mother was married at the time of birth, in accordance with state law the spouse will be entered as the second parent unless both an acknowledgment from the other biological parent and a denial from the spouse are provided. Please refer to the official website for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division for proper information and forms.

If the delivering mother was not married at the time of birth, in accordance with state law an acknowledgment of paternity will be required to add the second biological parent to the record. Please refer to the official website for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division for proper information and forms.

 

Appeals
Requests for amendment which are not accepted by the registrar e.g. ineligible applicant, lack of supporting evidence may be appealed by filing a petition with the Administrative Hearing Clerk pursuant to OAC 310:2 and seek a final decision by an Administrative Law Judge granting the relief requested. The applicant shall bear the burden of proof, by clear and convincing evidence that the proposed change, alteration or amendment sought by the Applicant corrects an error or misstatement of fact. Specific information about the process is available at the link above.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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