In PEI, the Vital Statistics Act contains the laws about birth registration and birth certificates.
Within 30 days of the birth of a child in PEI, the birth must be registered with the Department of Vital Statistics. This is usually done in the hospital after the baby is born.
This birth registration form is called the Statement of Birth. It is what establishes the legal identity of the child.
The Birth Certificate is issued only if it is requested from Vital Statistics. It is a small card containing some of the information from the Statement of Birth.
After the birth is registered, a follow-up letter is sent out to the parent(s). This letter is called a Confirmation of Birth. If it is received and returned within 30 days of the birth, the parent can make changes to the information on this form. The letter also provides the opportunity to request a birth certificate.
Birth Certificates and Fathers
The birth registration can include the father’s name. But, the father’s name is not required. The father must consent to including his name on the birth registration. If the father’s name is not included, the mother must sign a form called a “statutory declaration” saying that she is not acknowledging the father at this time. The father’s name can be added later if both parties agree to this and request it in writing. There is a fee if this is done more than 30 days after the birth.
If a man signs the birth statement stating he is the father of a child, this will cause a presumption of paternity. As a legal term, “presumption” is “a conclusion drawn because there is no evidence against the conclusion”.
If someone is named as the father of a child in any court application, the responsibility lies with that person to prove he is not the father, whether or not his name is on the birth registration.
Important to Know
It is important to know that parenting time and decision-making responsibility are not affected by what is on the birth registration. Child support obligations are also not affected by what is written on the birth registration.