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Friday, March 12, 2010

19) Getting a Birth Certificate Listing us as Parents

After you have the registered adoption deed in hand, you can proceed to apply to the city municipality for a birth certificate that contains your child's new name (if you have chosen one), and lists you as parents of your child.

In Mumbai, the Health Department of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) is the body responsible for issuing birth certificates. Theoretically you are supposed to be able to apply for a BC online via the MCGM website, but in reality (at least at the time of this writing in April 2010), that page displays you a nice little error message asking you to go down to the ward office in person.

*Important*: If you know the administrative ward of the hospital in which your adopted child was born (you can usually get this information from your RIPA), you'll need to make a trip to the municipal office in that ward to apply for the birth certificate. Wards in Mumbai are lettered - 'A', 'B', 'N' etc. A list of all the wards in Mumbai is available on Wikipedia. To know where your ward office is, use to search for 'BMC X Ward Office'. (You would think this basic information would be available on the MCGM website, but you would be wrong). You can also call JustDial in Mumbai at 2-888-8888 and they will SMS the address of any place to you free of charge.

At the Health Department in the ward office, you usually have to first submit a handwritten letter as follows - alongwith a copy of the registered adoption deed and court order notarized by a public notary:

*) Handwritten Application Letter:

Subsequently, (in my case the following day - after applying some palm-grease), the officer-in-charge will have you fill in an application form as shown below. You can request for multiple copies of the birth certificate - all originals. He then enters the particulars of the child and your names by hand into a giant ledger and makes you sign the ledger - this becomes the official birth record.

*) Mumbai Municipality's Application Form for Issue of Birth Certificate (multiple copies):

The details are then entered into the municipality's computer system for the printing of the birth certificate. Once the birth certificate is printed, it is signed by the Chief / Assistant Medical Officer and stamped as shown below before being issued to you.

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