Are Birth Records Public in Indiana?
No. Indiana birth records are confidential records. Only people with a direct interest can request Indiana birth records, as stated in IN Code § 16-37-1-10. This includes parents named on birth certificates, immediate relatives, legal representatives, court-appointed legal guardians, and other authorized individuals. Nevertheless, all qualified individuals seeking to obtain a certified copy of a birth record in Indiana must submit a valid ID or two valid supporting documentation to prove eligibility.
The Indiana Department of Health Division of Vital Records is the official government organization that issues certified copies of vital records like birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates for vital events in the state. (Divorce records are available at the clerk of court's office in the county where a divorce occurred.) The vital records office also collects vital statistics on these vital events. For instance, the Indiana vital statistics report published by the agency revealed that 78,566 babies were born in 2020.
What are Birth Records in Indiana?
An Indiana birth record is an official document containing birth-related information that verifies that an individual's birth occurred in Indiana. An Indiana birth record serves as proof of citizenship of Indiana and the U.S. A birth record is a vital record issued by the government and useful for vital statistics, tax, military, and census purposes.
Like in other states in America, Indiana citizens require a birth record to obtain a social security number, gain employment, or apply for other benefits. A birth record establishes identity and gives access to the right and privileges.
There are two forms of birth certificates issued in Indiana. The standard birth certificate is a certified 8.5” by 5.5” copy of identifying information extracted from the original birth certificate. The second form is the long form certificate which is a certified 8.5” by 11” copy of identifying information extracted from the original birth certificate. The gender of the child is available on both long form and standard certificates. The time of birth is available on long form certificates but may not be available on records issued between 1949 and 1953. Birth times may also not have been recorded on birth records in Indiana before 1949.
In Indiana, birth records are preserved by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and local health departments. Eligible record seekers can obtain these vital records from these agencies directly or through an approved online vendor.
Where to Find Public Birth Records in Indiana
Generally, public birth records are not available in Indiana because birth records are private documents per the law. However, there is one way that the public can obtain an Indiana birth record: genealogy. In such cases, the record must be over 75 years old, and the registrant must be deceased. The requester must also provide proof of death (e.g., a death certificate) to retrieve the birth record from the state or local vital records office.
How to Find and Request Birth Records Online in Indiana?
Indiana does not provide access for members of the public to look up birth records online in the state. However, requesters can choose between two sources to obtain birth records online. Indiana provides birth record online ordering service through the state’s Vital Records Online Order Management portal – a service more precisely provided by the Indiana Office of Technology. Order status inquiries can be made any time of the day by calling the customer service unit at (888) 870-3099. The state also partners with a third-party company to provide the same service as an alternative to the state-owned service. Requesters can enjoy expedited services from both platforms as well as the convenience of paying for the service with a credit card. The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) endorses both online service entities as options for a convenient way to obtain birth records online.
Considered open to citizens of the United States, public records are available through both traditional, government sources, and through third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are considered a good place to start when looking for a specific record or multiple records. In order to gain access to these records, interested parties must typically provide:
- The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method.
- The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states.
While third-party sites offer such services, they are not government-sponsored entities, and record availability may vary on these sites when compared to government sources.
How to Get Birth Records in Indiana
All requests for birth records in Indiana require proper identification. Requests made without proper identification or documentation will be returned without being processed. Proof of relationship and a document showing direct interest to the person named on a birth record are common forms of supporting documentation included in birth record requests. Indiana defines a direct interest as a documented and verifiable financial and legal interest, or an immediate direct kinship to the person named on the record.
Identification requirements for Indiana birth record requests may be fulfilled by submitting one valid Primary Document or two valid Secondary or Supporting Documents. Note that all submitted documents must be current.
- Government Issued Driver’s License / State ID – front and back required
- US Military ID – front and back required
- Veterans ID
- Green Mexico Consular ID
- Signed Social Security Card
- Department of Correction ID Card or Printout – must include a picture
- College School ID – with proof of current enrollment (transcript or a letter from administration)
- Work ID Badge – with proof of current employment (computerized paycheck stub, or a letter from employer)
- Voter Registration Card – with name and current address
- Current Vehicle Registration – with name and current address (not Title of Ownership)
- Military Discharge (DD-214)
- Home Lease/Rental Agreement or Warranty Deed – with name, current address, and signature(s)
Persons with Amish or other religious exceptions must submit a letter from the bishop or clergy along with one form of primary documentation or two secondary documentation as listed below:
- Non-photo ID
- Signed Social Security Card or IRS Form 4029 (exemption of SSN)
- Baptismal Certificate
- Marriage Certificate
- School Records
Requesters are advised to only submit legible photocopies of required documents and not originals. Originals will not be returned if submitted. To check the status of a birth record request placed to the ISDH, contact the Department's Customer Service at (317) 233-2700.
To obtain a birth record with an apostille, requesters must have their certified birth records authenticated by the Secretary of State. The following steps are required to complete the process:
- Prepare a request form/cover letter. Include the requester's name, phone number, return mailing address, and the destination country in the letter. Include the actual destination country and the location of the embassy even if the authenticated document is required to be turned over to an embassy.
- Include the correct and required postage.
- Enclose the request form or cover letter, document(s) requiring apostille, and the return envelope in a mail to:
Indiana Secretary of State
Attn: Authentication Dept.
302 West Washington Street Room E-018
Indianapolis, IN 46204
How to Get Indiana Birth Records in Person
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) does not provide walk-in service for requesters looking to obtain a birth record. However, birth records can be obtained by visiting the County Health Department where the births occurred. County office locations in Indiana are available on the ISDH website. Call the local offices ahead for individual walk-in hours and any other specific requirements. A fee applies to submit an Indiana birth certificate application in person, and each applicant must provide the appropriate ID or documentation.
How to Get Indiana Birth Records by Mail
To order a birth certificate by mail:
- Download and complete the State Form 49607, Application for Search and Certified Copy of Birth Record form;
- Enclose applicable fees, identification requirements, and mailing address in the mail request; and
- Send completed application to:
Indiana State Department of Health
2 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Where Can I Find Birth Records in Indiana?
The Indiana State Department of Health Division of Vital Records maintains and issues certified copies of birth records that occurred in Indiana since 1907. Records of births that occurred prior to October 1907 are filed only with the local health department in the county where the birth occurred.
Note: These official government organizations also provide access to marriage and death records. For instance, a record seeker can request an Indiana death certificate online, by mail, or by visiting a vital records office.
Can Anyone Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate in Indiana?
Under Indiana law, the following persons can obtain a birth certificate by providing appropriate documentation:
- The person named on the record
- Parents of the person named on the record (required to be listed on the record)
- Grandparents of the person named on the record (required to be a parent of a parent listed on the record & show proof of relationship)
- Sibling, 18 years or older, of the person named on the record (required to show proof of relationship)
- Children or grandchildren, 18 years or older, of the person named on the record (required to show proof of relationship)
- Current spouse of the person named on the record (required to show proof of marriage)
- Aunt or uncle of the person named on the record (required to show proof of relationship)
- Step-parent of the person named on the record (required to provide ID with valid marriage certificate)
- Court-appointed legal guardian (required to provide guardianship papers with seal)
- The attorney or legal representative of the person named on the record (required to ID for self and provide a document with direct interest spelled out on letterhead or court documents)
- An authorized social agency (required to provide work ID with court documents or signed authorization from the client)
- State and federal agencies (required to provide work ID and a document with direct interest spelled out on letterhead, court documents, or signed authorization from the client)
Indiana allows anyone to make genealogy requests; however, the individual named on the record must be over 75 years old and deceased. Any requester making such a request must show proof of death.
How Much Does a Birth Certificate Cost in Indiana?
Indiana fees for birth certificates are established by law (IC 16-37-1-11 and IC 16-37-1-11.5). Each request costs a non-refundable fee of $10. This non-refundable fee guarantees a requester one search over five years; the reported year of birth and, if the record is not found in that year, two years before and after. A copy of a certified birth record is included in the $10 fee if found. Additional copies of the same record ordered at the same time cost $4 each. Orders by mail are paid by checks or money orders made payable to the “Indiana State Department of Health”.
For online orders placed on the third-party online vendor site, there is a $7.50 charge as processing costs. The processing cost covers online ordering, identity authentication, and expediting processes. Requesters who have chosen UPS Air (Continental US) for shipping are charged $21. UPS shipping outside the Continental US (Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii) and international UPS shipping options are also available at a fee. Order shipment by regular mail attracts no extra charge. The total cost for ordering a birth certificate online in Indiana includes the certificate fee, processing fee, and shipping fee. The third-party service providers accept payment via all major credit cards.
Online orders placed on the Indiana Vital Records Online Order Management portal cost $17.52 each. This fee is inclusive of regular mail shipping for returns. UPS Air (Continental US) shipping option is also available. Payments are also accepted via all major credit cards.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Birth Certificate in Indiana?
Once all required documents are received and approved, the Indiana State Department of Health now takes 12-16 weeks of processing time for birth record orders. The extended timescale is due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For an expedited service, individuals born in Indiana can obtain birth records from the local health department in the county where the birth occurred.
How to Get a New Birth Certificate in Indiana
An Indiana citizen whose birth certificate was lost or destroyed can obtain a replacement certified copy from a local health department. The available methods for submitting these requests include online, by mail, via phone, or in person at the county health department in the region where the birth occurred. Individuals who need new birth certificates that carry new or updated information should call (317) 233-2700 to obtain the proper procedure. They may also review the IDOH's Corrections/Amendments page.
How to Expunge Your Birth Records in Indiana
Expungement is the process of permanently removing or deleting parts or all of a record. This cannot be done with birth records. Indiana does not make provisions for deleting the details contained in a birth record.
How to Seal Your Birth Records in Indiana
Following the conclusion of adoption proceedings in Indiana, the pre-adoption birth record, also known as the original birth record, is redacted and inaccessible to the public. An amended birth certificate is issued by the Division of Vital Records at the Indiana State Department of Health to replace the original certificate. The process of sealing the original birth certificate is an automatic one and cannot be undertaken manually. Hence, adoptive parents do not need to petition to seal adoption records because such records are sealed by the court. The amended birth certificate is a legal document and can be presented to verify identity. The document also states the adoptive parents as the legal parents of the adoptee.
How to Unseal Your Birth Records in Indiana
Effective July 1, 2018, Indiana law allows adoptees to access their Indiana adoption records including erstwhile sealed original birth certificates through the Indiana State Department of Health. Senate Enrolled Act 91, signed in 2016, unseals pre-adoption records unless the biological parent files a nondisclosure form with the state Department of Health.
Eligible persons must register with the Indiana Adoption Matching Registry before accessing sealed files. Eligible persons include adult adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, and birth siblings. Appropriate proof of relationship is required if a spouse, relative of a deceased adoptee, or deceased birth parent intends to obtain a sealed birth record. Note that an individual must be 18 years or older to register on the Indiana Adoption Matching Registry. However, the individual seeking the birth record must be 21 years old to obtain a sealed birth certificate.
Persons placed for adoption before January 1, 1994, who intend to unseal their pre-adoption birth records may visit the ISDH to complete and submit the Identifying Information Consent Form and the Non-identifying Information Consent Form. Completed forms must be submitted to the ISDH with a copy of a government-issued photo ID. The forms and photo ID may also be scanned and emailed to the ISDH at VRAdoptionRegistry@isdh.in.gov. Accepted forms of government-issued ID include driver's license or state ID, passport, and Department of Corrections ID. An alternative is to print out the complete applications and mail them to the ISDH at:
Indiana State Department of Health
ATTN: Indiana Matching Registry – Vital Records
2 N. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
All requests are reviewed and processed as quickly as possible depending on the volume of requests. Requested Indiana adoption records may take up to six months from the date the forms and ID were received to return.
Indiana adoption records including original birth certificates for adoptions that occurred after 1994 in Indiana are open records unless the birth parents filed non-disclosure forms with the ISDH to keep them closed.
Who Signs Birth and Death Certificates in Indiana?
Per I.C. 16-37-2-2, the person in attendance at the birth is the one that signs birth certificates in Indiana. This includes the physician, midwife or nurse midwife, a licensed individual, or anyone around when the child is born.
On the other hand, as per the law, the physician who last attended to a deceased person before death or the person in charge of interment can sign the Indiana death certificate. This is done via the Indiana Death Registration System (IDRS). There are different ways individuals can obtain death records in Indiana. A record seeker can get a death certificate online from the Indiana State Library's official website. Requesters can also obtain death records from the Indiana State Department of Health's Vital Records Division (ISDH) or the local health departments.