Important Difference Between a Certificate - vs. Certification - of Live Birth

Yossi Gestetner
I am not trying to sort out the broader issue of President Obama being born in the United States or not. However, I do want to point out a small, yet important, point regarding the names of documents flying around this issue; a point that even Donald Trump oversees.

President Obama produced a Certification - not a Certificate - of Live Birth. While both are accepted as "birth certificates" in HI, some interesting information would be learned if one reads the websites of Hawaii's Deportment of Health and of the Department of Hawaiian Homelands:

  • Only the Certificate of Live Birth (the one Obama did not produce) is considered an "original birth certificate." (read the Homeland website)
  • "A person born in a foreign country who has been legally adopted in the State of Hawaii," is eligible to apply for an amended birth certificate. (Read the Health website)
  • "Although original birth certificates (Certificates of Live Birth) are preferred for their greater detail, the State Department of Health (DOH) no longer issues Certificates of Live Birth.When a request is made for a copy of a birth certificate, the DOH issues a Certification of Live Birth." (Read the homeland web site)
The above information gives us two options as to why President Obama produced a Certification of Live Birth and not an original birth certificate, aka Certificate of Live Birth. A) Obama lost his original kosher document and therefore the state as a replacement gave him only a Certification document, since they don't provide anymore copies of the original. B) Obama was born outside of HI, but after his guardians followed through the requirements (a "certified copy of the adoption decree or the certificate of adoption, and payment of fees"), Obama received an amended birth certificate.

Mr. Trump, who is very strong on this issue, confuses the difference between the both, saying - such as in his NYT response - that the President produced the Certificate of Live Birth, when in fact it is the Certification of Live Birth that was produced.

Regarding the Two Newspapers in Hawaii that placed a Mazel Tove for Obama's parents to the birth of a son on August 1961, it is relevant to have in mind that Obama has eight half-siblings by four other marriages or relationships between his parents. So go figure to which son the ad was referring. In addition, as WND pointed-out back in July 2009, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, for example, according to its website, reprints birth information it receives from Hawaii's Department of Health, which includes Certifications of Birth that foreigners may obtain.

Again: I am not suggesting that the President was not born in the USA. However, with the above information at hand, the arguments of the Obama defenders that ‘Obama produced a birth certificate,' and that ‘there were two ads in the papers,' become mostly irrelevant.
I am not trying to sort out the broader issue of President Obama being born in the United States or not. However, I do want to point out a small, yet important, point regarding the names of documents flying around this issue; a point that even Donald Trump oversees.

President Obama produced a Certification - not a Certificate - of Live Birth. While both are accepted as "birth certificates" in HI, some interesting information would be learned if one reads the websites of Hawaii's Deportment of Health and of the Department of Hawaiian Homelands:

  • Only the Certificate of Live Birth (the one Obama did not produce) is considered an "original birth certificate." (read the Homeland website)
  • "A person born in a foreign country who has been legally adopted in the State of Hawaii," is eligible to apply for an amended birth certificate. (Read the Health website)
  • "Although original birth certificates (Certificates of Live Birth) are preferred for their greater detail, the State Department of Health (DOH) no longer issues Certificates of Live Birth.When a request is made for a copy of a birth certificate, the DOH issues a Certification of Live Birth." (Read the homeland web site)
The above information gives us two options as to why President Obama produced a Certification of Live Birth and not an original birth certificate, aka Certificate of Live Birth. A) Obama lost his original kosher document and therefore the state as a replacement gave him only a Certification document, since they don't provide anymore copies of the original. B) Obama was born outside of HI, but after his guardians followed through the requirements (a "certified copy of the adoption decree or the certificate of adoption, and payment of fees"), Obama received an amended birth certificate.

Mr. Trump, who is very strong on this issue, confuses the difference between the both, saying - such as in his NYT response - that the President produced the Certificate of Live Birth, when in fact it is the Certification of Live Birth that was produced.

Regarding the Two Newspapers in Hawaii that placed a Mazel Tove for Obama's parents to the birth of a son on August 1961, it is relevant to have in mind that Obama has eight half-siblings by four other marriages or relationships between his parents. So go figure to which son the ad was referring. In addition, as WND pointed-out back in July 2009, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, for example, according to its website, reprints birth information it receives from Hawaii's Department of Health, which includes Certifications of Birth that foreigners may obtain.

Again: I am not suggesting that the President was not born in the USA. However, with the above information at hand, the arguments of the Obama defenders that ‘Obama produced a birth certificate,' and that ‘there were two ads in the papers,' become mostly irrelevant.