HONOLULU—The Hawaii State Health Department announced that it complied with a request by President Barack Obama for certified copies of his original Certificate of Live Birth, which is sometimes referred to in the media as a “long form” birth certificate.
Questions about Obama’s birth were first raised by his opponents during his candidacy for president. The “birther” movement has recently taken up steam following public commentary on this issue by Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, despite the release of a shorter form of his birth certificate in 2008 and numerous newspaper announcements of his birth.
A birth notice from the Honolulu Star Bulletin in 1961 read: “Mr and Mrs Barack H Obama, 6085 Kalanianaole Highway, son, Aug 4.”
Gov. Neil Abercrombie also appeared in national media to reiterate that he had seen the newborn Obama. Abercrombie was a personal friend of the President’s parents.
“We hope that issuing certified copies of the original Certificate of Live Birth to President Obama will end the numerous inquiries related to his birth in Hawaii,” State Health Director Loretta Fuddy said. “I have seen the original records filed at the Department of Health and attest to the authenticity of the certified copies the department provided to the President that further prove the fact that he was born in Hawaii.”
On April 22, Obama sent a letter to the Health Director, requesting two certified copies of his original Certificate of Live Birth. Also on that day, Judith Corley, the President’s personal attorney, made the same request in writing on behalf of Obama.
To see the letters from the President and Judith Corley, click here
On April 25, pursuant to the President’s request, the Health Director said she personally witnessed the copying of the original Certificate of Live Birth and attested to the authenticity of the two copies. Dr. Alvin Onaka, the State Registrar, certified the copies.
To see the letter from the Health Director, click here
Obama authorized Corley to pick up the documents. On April 25, Corley appeared in person at the Hawaii State Department of Health building in Honolulu, paid the requisite fee, and was given the two certified copies, a response letter from the Health Director to the President, and a receipt for payment.
In June 2008, Obama released his Certification of Live Birth, which is sometimes referred to in the media as a “short form” birth certificate. Both documents are legally sufficient evidence of birth in the State of Hawaii, and both provide the same fundamental information: President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii at 7:24 p.m. on August 4, 1961, to mother Stanley Ann Dunham and father Barack Hussein Obama.
In 2001, the Hawaii State Department of Health began computer-generating vital statistics records. Since then, its longstanding policy and practice has been to issue and provide only the computer-generated Certifications of Live Birth, and to not produce photocopies of actual records to fulfill requests for certified copies of certificates.
The Health Director made an exception for Obama by issuing copies of the original birth certificate. The departmental policy to issue only computer-generated Certifications of Live Birth remains in effect for all birth records that have been computerized. Fuddy, in her capacity as Health Director, has the legal authority to approve the process by which copies of birth records are made.
“The exception made in this case to provide President Obama with a copy of his original Certificate of Live Birth was done according to the letter of the law,” Attorney General David Louie said. “Director Fuddy exercised her legal authority in a completely appropriate manner in this unique circumstance. We will continue to maintain the strict confidentiality requirements afforded to vital statistics records, such as birth certificates. These requirements help protect the integrity of the records, and keep us all safe from crimes, such as identity theft.”
Abercrombie, who appeared on CNN the night before to talk about the “birther” conspiracy, said in a statement: “Considering all of the investigations that have been done and the information that has been provided, no rational person can question the President’s citizenship. We have found a way—once again—to confirm what we already knew: the President was born here in Hawaii. State officials of both parties have verified that President Obama’s birth records show that he was born in Honolulu.
“President Obama’s mother and father were dear friends of mine, and we must respect their memory. It is an insult to the President, his parents, and to the Office to suggest that he was not born in Hawaii. The State of Hawaii has done everything within our legal ability to disabuse these conspiracy theorists. We granted the President’s request for certified copies of his birth certificate so we can all move on from this unfortunate distraction and focus on the real issues affecting people today.”