West Virginia to Develop Birth Records Website

WASHINGTON (08/01/2000) - To assist other states in regulating child support between parents, West Virginia is building a World Wide Web site to provide better access to birth and death records.

The Interstate Paternity Acknowledgment Certification Transmission site, to be built within the next year, will allow other child support offices to securely access electronic records of birth and death certificates and paternity affidavits.

"One of the problems in getting paternity established is not having the birth certificate," said Ann Garcelon, press secretary for the state's Department of Health and Human Resources. "This will help get birth records out quicker."

Garcelon said the process would be shortened from several weeks to immediate access.

Using a $25,597 grant from the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources will build the Web site with the help of the state Bureau for Child Support Enforcement and the Bureau for Public Health's Vital Registration Office.

Susan Harrah, accounting unit manager for the state Bureau of Child Support Enforcement, said states typically need the child's birth certificate - listing the parents' names - to facilitate child support in legal proceedings. Delays in obtaining the paperwork mean delays in enforcing child support, she said.

The site will charge $5 per transaction to cover expenses.

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