I had a midwife tell me that home birth midwives in Michigan are no longer allowed to take care of birth certificates, and that we will have to take our newborn to the federal building/Social Security office to fill it out ourselves. Where can I check the validity of this?
Homebirth midwife/birth certificates/Michigan
I'm a midwife in Michigan with a birth center and home birth practice. The state provides the pink birth certificate worksheet to all OOH midwives. If the midwifery practice has 2 or more midwives, or the practice has a facility such as a birth center, they can complete the buff colored (short form, official) birth certificate and after it's signed the midwife needs to take the buff and the pink to the clerk's office to register the birth. If those prerequisites don't apply then the parents and the midwife complete only the long pink form worksheet and take that to the local municipality clerk or the county clerk's office. Check with the county vital stats office about which one. I think only Wayne County (Detroit area) also uses the city offices for registering births.
You should check with the clerk's offices to find out if you need to bring the baby in when you register the birth, but for all the counties I've worked with, I haven't heard of this requirement.
You also may want to update the midwife you talked to so she has the correct info.
Yes, midwives used to be able to "sign" the birth certificate and finish the offical document. As of a few years ago, we are only allowed to sign the pink "worksheet" and then the parents bring the worksheet (the offices around me sometimes require the baby and Mama to attend the worksheet being brought to the office, sometimes do not--it's always better to call the County, let them know the city you're in, and find out where to bring it--for instance in Troy, you bring it to the City offices, pretty much every where else in Oakland County, you bring it to the county clerk) in to the city or county clerk and get the official document typed up. *shrug* It's not as much "responsibility" but the same amount of work, really.
It's a little offensive, they took the "right" for HB midwives to complete the official certificate after September 11th happened for "security" reasons. Whatever.
In the end, though, we still have an official document that we fill out, you sign it, we sign it, and you take it to the city/county clerk and get your birth certificate. So...you heard *some* of the story correctly, but not all of it. It's not awesome to have to go with the baby immediately post partum to get the birth certificate...but you still get it, AFTER we fill out the worksheet and you sign it.
And there is a box you can check on the worksheet that STILL allows the state to send you the Soc Security card after they receive the birth certificate worksheet. If you want the soc sec card sooner than 6-8 (or more) weeks, you can take the birth certificate directly to the soc security office and get the card yourself. But you do NOT HAVE TO. And you DON'T have to go to the federal soc sec office downtown to get it, certain local offices will do, as far as I have experienced and heard. You just call your local office to find out where to go.
I have a stack of pink worksheets, and have filled them out for my clients, who had NO PROBLEM getting birth certificates or social security cards for their babies. It's possible to do it, we just don't have all the privledges we used to have.