The state of Alabama is in the south-eastern portion of the United States, and was the 22nd state to join the Union. If your ancestry is from this area, you'll find Alabama birth records from 1880 and even earlier though 1908 is typically when decent record-keeping began.
If you are searching for immediate relatives, you may be in luck but trying to access more distant ancestors may be a problem under Alabama law. Alabama birth records are considered confidential and cannot be accessed for a period of 125 years after that date of birth. So any ancestors who were born more than 125 years ago would be legal to access. The exceptions for the confidentiality issue include the person for whom the certificate belongs, that person's parents, spouse, children or siblings.
When requesting a copy of a birth certificate, there is a fee regardless of your relation to the person. For your fee, you'll get a certified copy of the certificate or a "failure to find" notice. The fee is not refundable even if the birth record is not found.
There is a mail-in application that is sent (along with the fee) to the
Alabama Vital Records Office, PO Box 5625 Montgomery AL, 36103-5625 USA. You can get the application from from the Alabama Department of Public Health website (http://adph.org/vitalrecords/assets/hs14eng.pdf). You can also make your request in person at any county health department in the state. You should still fill out the application before you arrive though, to speed up the process. They are usually issued while you wait. Mailed in applications usually take about 7 to 10 days to return a certificate to you. It's best to pay the fee by check, made out to the State Board of Health.
The form should be filled out as thoroughly as you can so that the correct certificate is found. Supply their name, date of birth, sex, city and hospital of birth and names of parents. The form also requests your name and signature, and the relationship that you have to the person. The current fees for requesting a birth certificate are on the forms, which is currently around $15 USD. Extra copies are $6 each, if you happen to need more than one copy of the same certificate.
The state did not start recording Alabama birth records until 1908, so any records you are searching for beyond that year will take some more work. Most records prior to 1908 are kept at the county level. There are microfilmed indexes that can be searched. You can usually access the films at each county courthouse, or even browsed online at some genealogy websites.
When searching for Alabama birth records between 1881 and 1908, you may also run into some difficulties identifying the right records because the name of the child was rarely recorded. What was recorded was the sex and race of the child, names and ages of parents, date and place of birth and the name of the doctor or midwife. Most records after 1908 will have the name of the child as well as the number of births for the mother and the place of residence of the family.
To obtain Alabama birth certificates, follow the instructions below:
Download and complete the Alabama Birth Certificate form.
You will need to provide as much information about the person named on the certificate as you have, along with your contact information. This includes: the full name of the person and date of birth, gender, the county or city and hospital in which he or she was born, mother's maiden name and father's full name, your name and relationship to the person, your signature, and contact information including your phone number and address to which the certificate will be mailed to.
Mail the completed application to the address listed under "Vital Records," along with a check or money order for $15.
For more information, contact the office below:
Alabama Department of Public Health
Alabama Vital Records
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, AL 36103-5626
Where To Find Alabama Birth Records
Gaining access to Alabama birth records is as simple as contacting the Alabama Center for Health Statistics. You will need a birth certificate for many legal purposes, including enrolling in school, finding a job, and for the purpose of identification.
Ordering Certificates Online
Alabama birth records can be obtained online either by ordering electronically (where additional fees apply) or by printing a form that can then be mailed in to the Vital Records Department. This makes it easy for anyone to access the birth certificates that they need.
Restrictions to Accessing Birth Records
Due to state law, only certain people can access Alabama birth records. Birth records are considered confidential records until 125 years after birth, and therefore, they can only be accessed if you are the person named on the certificate or their mother, father or legal guardian. If you are the spouse, the child, or a sibling of the person named on the certificate, you may also obtain access to the birth certificate as well.