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What It Is

Each year in Kentucky, approximately 700 to 800 children are born in locations other than regular birthing hospitals. Some children are born at the mother's home or another person's residence; some are born at non-birthing medical facilities; others are delivered at a variety of unexpected locales due to emergency situations. Whether or not a birth was planned at its place of delivery, the birth must be registered with the Office of Vital Statistics (OVS). Registering a birth record with OVS is the responsibility of the person who attended the delivery. Births that occur outside regular birthing hospitals usually are attended by licensed or lay midwives, physicians or registered nurses; however, others—such as family members or emergency medical personnel—may assume this role.

Home births and births in other locations other than a regular birthing facility can be registered two ways depending on the credentials of the person who attended the delivery. 

Kentucky licensed certified professionals midwives (LCPMs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), or medical records clerks at non-birthing hospitals may submit birth records through KY-CHILD (Kentucky's electronic birth registration system).  Conversely, all other attendants, as well as LCPMs, CNMs, and medical records clerks without access to KY-CHILD must register the live birth with OVS using the appropriate paper forms with accompanying required documentation.

Homebirth Registration through KY-CHILD

This option is open only to LCPMs, CNMs, and birth clerks with KY-CHILD user accounts created through the Kentucky Online Gateway (KOG). For information for on how to sign up for KOG and KY-CHILD, please refer to the links below in the Documentation section, or call the Office of Application Technology Service (OATS) toll free at (877) 545-6175. Instructions for data entry and downloadable versions of all required forms are available on the KY-CHILD site itself (see below). All data and forms necessary to register a homebirth may be entered electronically by all KY-CHILD users.

Information on how to obtain licensure as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) in Kentucky is available with the Kentucky Board of Nursing at (502) 429-3300 or toll free at (800) 305-2042. The Kentucky Birth Coalition at (502) 465-5422 also provides general resources pertaining to homebirths.

Any LCPM, CNM, or birth clerk at a non-birthing medical facility who does not register a birth through KY-CHILD must follow the procedures outlined below for filing the birth with hardcopy documents.

Homebirth Registration with Hardcopy Documents

All attendants, licensed or not, who don't have access to KY-CHILD must register births by submitting hardcopy documents. The following documents ordinarily are required by OVS for birth registration outside the KY-CHILD system:

  1. A Live Birth Worksheet (VS-2WA), fully completed, signed and dated (with Multiple Live Birth Attachment Worksheet (VS-2WB) for every live birth after the first live birth); and
  2. Evidence of the mother's pregnancy; and
  3. Evidence that the child was born alive; and
  4. Evidence that the mother was present in Kentucky on the child's date of birth.

Detailed instructions for registering a birth using hardcopy documents is found in the Guide for Homebirth and Non-Birthing Facility Registration. You also may request a printed version of the guide be mailed to you by calling the OVS Vital Events Unit supervisor at (502) 564-4212.