I have a visitor visa and gave birth at a hospital in Georgia and I couldn't get the birth certificate of my child because I didn't pay the hospital rule.

I already talked to the hospital's medical record office and the state's vital record office.

I talked to a lawyer now and he told me there is a NEW rule/regulation to hold birth certificate for visitors who didn't pay the bill. The hospital is asking me to pay 50,000 USD.

Does anyone know a NEW rule? If so, please the link. What shall I do to get the birth certificate?

  • 1
    Georgia the country or Georgia the US state?
    – phoog
    May 9, 2018 at 17:37
  • @phoog I'm assuming the US state, given the currency is given as USD rather than GEL as well as the value of the bill.
    – JAB
    May 9, 2018 at 18:52
  • It may have to do with immigration law. No country likes it when non-citizens come to their country and soak off the social services. Also the US is a jus soli state and so someone born here has a claim to citizenship, making things more complicated still. Can you just get your home country to issue a birth certificate? May 9, 2018 at 19:32
  • Did you talk to the hospital's lawyer or find a lawyer yourself?
    – bdb484
    May 9, 2018 at 20:05
  • 2
    When you applied for the birth certificate at your county's vital records office, what did they say? That the hospital didn't file the record? I think the hospital is required by law to file the birth record, and I don't think there is any basis for the vital records office to refuse to issue you a copy based on financial disputes with private parties, since the record only concerns the fact of birth.
    – user102008
    May 23, 2018 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


Someone is yanking your chain. The law regarding birth certificates §31-10-9 states that "A certificate of birth for each live birth which occurs in this state shall be filed with the State Office of Vital Records within five days after such birth and filed in accordance with this Code section and regulations of the department" ("shall" means it is mandatory). The law regarding issuing certified copies of vital records, §31-10-26, says that

(a) In accordance with Code Section 31-10-25 and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto: (1) The state registrar or local custodian, upon receipt of a written application, shall issue: (A) A certified copy of a vital record in that registrar's or custodian's custody or abstract thereof to any applicant having a direct and tangible interest in the vital record

(a parent has an obvious direct and tangible interest in their child's birth certificate). There is no legal basis for denying a person the right to obtain a birth certificate, and a law prohibiting issuance of a birth certificate to a person who owed money to a hospital would be contrary to the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution. However, the hospital is not obligated to give copies of birth certificates, and probably cannot issue a certified copy ("(d) No person shall prepare or issue any certificate which purports to be an original, certified copy or duplicate of a vital record except as authorized in this chapter or regulations adopted under this chapter"). USCIS states that "The only birth certificate acceptable for Form I-9 purposes must be an original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority or outlying possession of the United States, bearing an official seal (hospitals register births, on which basis government registrars certify births). Your home country obviously cannot issue a birth certificate: only Georgia can (and must).


Certain states have been passing laws or rules to make it hard for alien parents to obtain birth certificates for their US-born babies. A story about one such rule in Texas was written about by the New York Times. You could report to the American Civil Liberties Union, who would be interested in this sort of problem. You could also contact the Georgia branch of the Democratic Party; the governor of Georgia is in a close race for reelection and the Democratic Party might be able to pressure the Georgia government.

If the hospital has not reported the birth to the county you could file a complaint against the doctor who delivered the baby; it is really that doctor's responsibility to report the birth, although he/she would normally delegate it to the hospital's clerical staff.


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