B.C. births go online

Parents can now register the birth of their newborn online

Having a baby is becoming more high-tech in B.C.

British Columbia parents can now register the birth of their newborn child online, with the launch of a new birth registration system.

Registration creates a permanent legal record of a birth and every B.C.-born baby’s birth must be registered with the Vital Statistics Agency. No fee is charged for registrations received within 30 days of a child’s birth.

“The birth of a child is an exciting, but sometimes overwhelming time for families, and this easy to use system will help make this busy time a little easier,” said Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government Margaret MacDiarmid.

“This new electronic birth registration system is a perfect example of how we are continuing to improve the ways government delivers services so that they meet the needs of British Columbians.”

Parents can already go online to apply for their child’s birth certificate. As part of the new online birth registration system, they can also apply online for Canada Child Benefits, the baby’s Social Insurance Number and Medical Services Plan coverage.

“There are about 44,000 babies born in British Columbia each year,” said Minister of Health Michael de Jong. “This new online birth registration tool is just one more example of how we are working to improve services for B.C. families.”

It is estimated registering the birth of a child will take approximately 20 minutes and requires the presence of the parent(s) who will be recorded on the child’s birth registration. Parents will also need basic information on hand including the baby’s full name, the mother’s personal health number and the location and date of the baby’s birth.

“Families with new babies have such full days (and nights), we are pleased that this new online system will help them register the birth of their baby quickly and with less paperwork from the comfort of their home,” said Shannon Norberg, registered midwife and president of the Midwives Association of BC.

For more information on the new registration process or to register the birth of a newborn, please visit: www.vs.gov.bc.ca

“Very soon I’ll be a new mom again and I remember how busy it was in those first few weeks after the baby arrived,” said Heidi Virag, expectant mom, Vancouver. “Nerves, lack of sleep and many visitors to contend with, there is already so much to deal with.

“Thankfully, there is great news,” added Virag. “I’m sure many of you remember the pile of paperwork that comes home with you and the baby? Fill in this, register for that. One more thing to do, right? Well, now you can do it all online without even leaving the house. I think it’s a terrific idea, thankfully something complicated has been simplified for once.”

Parents without access to a computer may request a paper birth registration form from the Vital Statistics Agency by calling 250 952-2681 in Victoria or 1 888 876-1633 toll-free in other parts of the province.

The B.C. government is committed to putting supports in place to make life easier for B.C. families. Government recently unveiled the Families First Agenda, which is working to ensure that families continue to progress and thrive. The Families First Agenda focuses on supporting vulnerable families, making communities safer and helping ensure life is more affordable for B.C. families.