General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 46 Return and Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths - Section 13A Correction of birth records; procedure

Section 13A. If it is claimed that a child was born in a city or town in this commonwealth and the clerk or registrar of such city or town has no record thereof, said clerk or registrar may receive an affidavit, signed and sworn to by a parent of such child, or, in his discretion, by some credible person or persons having knowledge of the case, setting forth the facts relating to such birth, in the manner provided by section one, and documentary evidence substantiating such facts beyond reasonable doubt. The minimum documentary evidence to be required in accordance with this section shall be determined by regulation as provided for in section four of chapter seventeen. If said clerk or registrar is satisfied as to the truth and accuracy of the statements in such affidavit and the sufficiency of the evidence submitted therewith, he shall make a record of such birth.

A person who is unable to furnish such an affidavit for the establishment of his birth record may petition the clerk or registrar of the city or town wherein it is claimed his birth occurred for the recording of his birth. If the evidence submitted by the petitioner is satisfactory to said clerk or registrar as a basis for establishing such record, he shall accept the same and record the birth. If, however, in the opinion of said clerk or registrar such evidence is not satisfactory, he shall refuse in writing to record the birth. Such person may then present a petition, together with such written refusal and his evidence to establish the validity of such record, to a judge of the probate court of the county in which such city or town is located. Written notice shall be given to said clerk or registrar of the time and place of the hearing on such petition. After such hearing, if it is the opinion of the court that such birth should be recorded, it shall be so ordered. Upon receipt of such order from said judge, said clerk or registrar shall establish the record.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015