View Full Version : Would a baptism certificate replace a birth certificate
Hi all I am not really sure if this qualifies as family history or not but here goes, my Mother was adopted/fostered some time before 1927 and the start of formal adoption.
I have been unable to find a birth certificate for her under the name she used all her life and enquiries to adoption charities have drawn a blank.
My question is how did she claim her state pension and go through life without a birth certificate?
We found nothing when we cleared the house after she died so could her baptism certificate substitute for her birth certificate for certain things?
Anyone got any thoughts on this subject I would be most interested to hear them.
07-01-2006, 4:38 PM
I think so. My dad claimed to have obtained a passport on the basis of a baptism certificate (he was born abroad and couldn't produce a birth certificate). Actually I now know that he was listed in the military indexes and could have obtained a birth certificate and it may be that the passport office went down that road without telling him. But who knows?
I've also ploughed through some of the Civil Service Evidence of Age files at the Society of Genealogists (inherited from TNA). There are a number of baptism certificates in there presented in lieu of a birth certificate.
In practice birth certificates didn't really become indispensable (as distinct from legally compulsory birth registration) until around WW II.
07-01-2006, 4:59 PM
I have been unable to find a birth certificate for her under the name she used all her life and enquiries to adoption charities have drawn a blank. My question is how did she claim her state pension and go through life without a birth certificate?
So many of us are recorded on so many bits of paper in different offices and departments now that it's hard to envisage a time when less emphasis was placed on these things.
I would guess that the adoptiong parents may have been given some paperwork which confirmed their status according to the home/agency which arranged the adoption (presumably this paperwork has not survived). This paper may have included a name and date of birth. With this and a certificate of baptism she would have been registered in WW2 for her Identity card and received a certificate of education. All bits of paper which would confirm her age and so allow her to register for National Insurance after WW2 and permit her to claim state pension.
07-01-2006, 5:45 PM
As she was adopted prior to 1927 she would not have had a new birth certificate in her adoptive name any birth certificate would be in the name she was born with.
That aside there was very little need of a birth certificate in everyday life. Her pension would more than likely have been due to her husband's contributions and may have been in his name rather than hers. Did he outlive her?
08-01-2006, 12:27 PM
Yes my father did outlive my Mother but as he was a Polish displaced person who did not come to the UK until 1948 I am not sure if his contributions would have been elligeable for her pension.
I am not sure if my Mother was adopted from outside the family or if she was taken in as a favour to a relative in trouble so there may not have been any paperwork at all.
I wish I had asked her about all this when she was still alive.
Ah well live and learn I suppose.
Many thanks to you for taking the time to answer my query.
08-01-2006, 10:28 PM
I have never been able to find a birth certificate for my grandfather born in 1909. My mother knows where his family were from (King's Cross - so nowhere 'exotic'), how old he said he was and when he celebrated his birthday but nothing despite helpful advice from this forum.
I managed to leapfrog this brickwall using a combination of census information and good luck but still wonder why. Maybe as the tenth child in his family they couldn't be bothered - no child benefit to be claimed in those days!
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