by Frank M. Groves on Jun 14, 2018 Uncategorized
Whatever the future holds for birth certificates, it's clear that they'll continue to matter not just for administrative purposes, but for emotional reasons, too. As Schinderman puts it, "even though the birth certificate is just a piece of paper, it is my piece of paper."
Birth registration has long been useful to governments, allowing them to tax, conscript, and count the population. That effort was traditionally the purview of churches, where the practice dates to the 16th century. It wasn't until 1837, in England and Wales, that birth registration began to become standardized and subject to governmental control.* Several decades later, it was mandatory to register all births in the two countries.