Home Births

Legal Requirements


Maryland law requires that all births occurring in the State be registered with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (MD Health-General Code Ann. 4-208). Registration of your child's birth establishes the facts of birth and will be used throughout your child's lifetime for a variety of legal purposes. When a baby is born outside of an institution, the local health officer or designee of the jurisdiction where the birth occurred is required to attempt to verify the facts regarding the birth (COMAR 10.03.01.02F).

If the facts can be verified, the local health officer will sign the birth record and file the record with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. If the facts regarding a birth cannot be verified by the local health officer, parents may seek an order from a court of competent jurisdiction that lists the facts about the birth and orders the Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to create the birth record. Pre-registration is available at the Frederick County Health Department and simplifies the registration process that will take place after the baby is born.

Forms


The following forms will be required to register your new home birth:
Please note: If you do not have a licensed health care provider who is able to provide the necessary documentation to register your new home birth, you must contact the Frederick County Health Department at 301-600-1029 (press "0" to speak to or leave a message for the Administration Division receptionist) within 72 hours of the birth to request a public health nurse home visit.

If contact is not made within 72 hours of the birth and you do not have a licensed health care provider who is able to provide the necessary documentation, you will then need to obtain a court order to register the birth.

Necessary Documents


The necessary documents from a licensed health care provider would include:
  • Evidence of Pregnancy - Section 2 of the Verification of the Facts of Birth Form
    • If you do not have evidence of pregnancy from a licensed health care provider you will need to contact the Frederick County Health Department at 301-600-1733 to schedule a pre-registration appointment on or after 34 weeks of gestation to pre-register your home birth.
  • Evidence that a live birth occurred - Section 3 of the Verification of the Facts of Birth Form
  • Completed Local Health Department Worksheet for the Certificate of Live Birth - be sure that the licensed health care provider has signed Page 1 (Signature of Person Completing Facility Worksheet) and has entered their information under #20.
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Registering a Home Birth.