Foreign Birth

​​​​​The Office of Vital Statistics (OVS) has provisioned the filing of Records of Foreign Birth since 1978. Foreign Birth registration was instituted to provide certification from the Commonwealth of Kentucky for individuals who were born in a foreign county as natural citizens of that country, but were later adopted by at least one parent with U.S. citizenship through a court of competent jurisdiction (either in the country of the child's birth or in Kentucky). A record of foreign birth generally may be used to the same effect as a birth certificate for U.S.-born citizen (with the notable exception of applying for a passport). However, this record does not serve as proof of U.S. citizenship.

Foreign Birth Certificate Purchases

For foreign birth certificate purchase options, please visit the OVS Certificate Purchase Options page.

Information Needed for Certificate Request

  • Full adopted name of the person for whom the certificate is requested
  • The month, day and year of birth
  • The Kentucky county of residence of the parents when the adoption was completed
  • The adopted mother's maiden name
  • The adopted father's name

Additional Information Needed

  • Requester's name and address where the certificate is to be mailed
  • Phone number where you can be reached during the day from 8 a.m. to 4:30 pm Eastern time
  • The number of copies being order

Enclose a check or money order payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer to cover the cost of each certificate ordered and mail to:

Office of Vital Statistics
275 East Main Street, 1E-A
Frankfort, KY  40621

How to Create Foreign Birth Registration

The process for registering a foreign birth in Kentucky differs depending on whether the foreign adoption was completed in the country of the child's birth or in the United States. If you are unsure of this information, check the type of visa with which the child entered the U.S. IH-3, IR-3 and IR-2 visas are issued in cases when adoptions are considered to have been fully completed abroad. IH-4 and IR-4 visas are issued when the adoption process was initiated abroad, but will need to be completed by a U.S. court of competent jurisdiction.

Below is a list of downloadable forms you can use, depending on the registration process.

Adoptions Completed in the U.S.A.

Instructions for Issuance of a Foreign Birth Record—Adoption Completed in the USA
VS-102 Adoption Information Form
VS-56 Application for Registration for Foreign Birth
VS-37 Birth Certificate Application Form

Adoptions Completed in a Foreign Country

Instructions for Issuance of a Foreign Birth Record—Adoption Completed in a Foreign Country
VS-56 Application for Registration of Foreign Birth
VS-37 Birth Certificate Application Form

U.S. Citizens Born Abroad

A Record of Foreign Birth cannot be created for U.S. citizens born abroad. If one or more of the child's natural parents were U.S. citizens at the time of the child's birth, you will need to contact the Department of State about obtaining a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America.