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3.4.13 Obtaining a birth certificate

Last Modified: 04-Jan-2019 Review Date: 01-Oct-2016


To inform child protection workers of the procedures to obtain a birth certificate for a child in the CEO's care, and where necessary, register the child’s birth.

Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities (Communities).

Practice Requirements

  • All children in the CEO’s care must have a birth certificate, which must be placed in the child's Child History Folder.  A copy must also be saved to their Child History File in Objective.
Process Maps

Not applicable.


  • Completion of documentation
  • Application process
  • Lodging the application and payment process
  • If the child’s birth is not registered
  • If a child arrived as a refugee or unaccompanied humanitarian minor
  • Completion of documentation

    Child protection workers should complete the template ‘Birth Certificate’ from the 'templates' tab within the child’s '360 Degree View' tab in Assist and forward the submission to the team leader for approval. Child protection workers must verify that the cost for the birth certificate has been recorded and approved in Assist

    When approved, child protection workers should save the submission document to the Objective case file.


    Application process

    Application for a Western Australian birth certificate

    An application for a birth certificate for a child in the CEO’s care born in Western Australia (WA) must be lodged either: 

    in person at the:

    Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages office 

    Level 10, 141 St Georges Terrace, Perth 

    between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday. 

    by mail to: 

    Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

    Team Supervisor Applications

    PO Box 7720 Cloisters Square

    PERTH WA 6850.​

    Either way, child protection workers must complete the BDMI Birth Certificate Application Form WA from the Births, Deaths and Marraiges website (download the BDM1 form here or in related resources) and the Request for Birth Certificate WA - sample letter (in related resources). 

    Both documents must be submitted with non-certified copies of the child protection worker’s ID card and child’s current court order. Where a court order is not yet granted, submit a copy of Form 643 – Application for Protection and Care of Children with the court seal and received stamp on it (note: the ‘Grounds for Application’ section must be blacked out if sending a copy of the second page, as this is confidential).

    To discuss specific circumstances or request a birth certificate urgently, child protection workers should contact the Team Supervisor Applications at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (the Registry) on 9264 6305.

    Further information is also available from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, WA (a link is available in related resources). 

    Applications for an interstate or overseas birth certificate

    To apply for a birth certificate for a child born in another state/territory or New Zealand, child protection workers must complete the relevant application form available from the relevant Australian state and territory websites or the New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages website. These websites include information on any other requirements including certificate costs and payment details. The websites are listed in the Contact Details for Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry Offices in Australia and New Zealand (in related resources).

    If a birth certificate is required from an overseas country, other than New Zealand, child protection workers should liaise with the respective Consulate or High Commission for their contact details, application form and fees.

    All application forms should be completed in as much detail as possible.

    In addition to completing and sending the relevant state/territory or overseas agency birth certificate application form, child protection workers must complete and enclose a supporting letter to the agency. The following sample letters (in related resources) may be used:

    • Request for Birth Certificate - Other States and Territories sample letter
    • Request for Birth Certificate - Overseas - sample letter 

    Lodging the application and payment process

    All requests for birth certificates must be paid via the Government Purchasing Card (GPC). The district GPC cardholder for case related costs can provide the card details for the ‘Payment Details’ section on the application form.  

    Information on fees is available in the Fees for Products and Services (in related resources).

    A copy of the letter and application form should be retained and filed in the Objective case file. The application form is used as the invoice, with the application date as the invoice number.

    The relevant Registry office, or equivalent, will forward the birth certificate and receipt to the child protection worker. This receipt is required for GPC records.

    The birth certificate must be placed in the Child History Folder and a copy saved on the Child History file in Objective. 


    If the child’s birth is not registered

    If the child’s birth is not registered in WA, or in the specified state/territory or overseas country, the Registry office, or equivalent, upon receipt of the application for a birth certificate, will send a registration of birth form and request it be completed. 

    Child protection workers should complete the registration details and arrange for the parent(s) to sign the form. If either of the parents is unavailable, child protection workers should:

    • sign the birth registration form with a notation "on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, Department of Communities", and
    • write in the informant's name section under  "Mother's Given Name” - Chief Executive Officer, and under “Mother's Surname” - Department of Communities.

    This must be accompanied by a letter to the Registrar General (or equivalent) stating, “The Department of Communities has made every effort to contact the parent(s) and has been unsuccessful in obtaining their signature(s)”.

    Once the registration of birth form is signed and completed, child protection workers must return the form and Communities' letter, together with a copy of the Registry office letter. No further payment is required. On receipt of the registration of birth form, the Registry office (or equivalent) will process the request and send the child's birth certificate to the child protection worker.  


    If a child arrived as a refugee or unaccompanied humanitarian minor

    Refugee children, including unaccompanied humanitarian minors (UHM), may have arrived in Australia with no identifying documents other than a travel document issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) overseas mission.

    If the child is in the CEO's care under a Children’s Court order or under an Australian Government Delegation (UHM) where the CEO is the delegated guardian, the DIBP can release identity documents directly to Communities on request. A request should be sent on Communities' letterhead with a copy of the supporting documentation.

    If the child is not the subject of a court order or delegated guardianship has not been given to the CEO, child protection workers have the following options to obtain identity documents:

    1. Seek the release of any existing identification documents, or copies thereof, via Freedom of Information to the DIBP.  Download the DIBP Form 424A Request for access to documents or information (link also in related resources). The request should include a copy of any documents provided at the time of the child or parent’s overseas application.
    2. Request identification documents from the child’s country of origin through the country’s diplomatic representation.  Information about embassies can be accessed through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Foreign Embassies and Consulates page (or in related resources). This option should only be pursued in consultation with the child and family concerned as contact with their country of origin, even through diplomatic channels, may place any relatives who remain in the country in danger due to ongoing civil war and/or conflict.