OF STATE BOARD OF HEALTH.
AN ACT to provide for a Uniform System of Registration of Births in the State of Delaware.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. That the State Board of Health of Delaware shall have charge of the registration of births, prepare the necessary methods, forms and blanks for obtaining and preserving such records and to insure the faithful registration of the same in the cities, counties (with the Recorder of Deeds of each County) with the Local Registrar of each District, and in the central bureau of Vital Statistics of the State. The said board shall be charged with the uniform and thorough enforcement of the law throughout the State, and shall from time to time make and promulgate any additional rules, forms and amendments that may be necessary for this purpose.
Section 2. That the Secretary of the State Board of Health shall be the State Registrar of Vital Statistics, and shall have general supervision over the central bureau of Vital Statistics, which is hereby authorized to be established by said Board, and which shall be under the immediate direction of the said State Registrar, and who shall be a medical practitioner of not less than five years' practice in his profession, and a competent vital statistician. The State Registrar of Vital Statistics shall receive an annual salary to be fixed by the State Board of Health, payable quarterly. The State Board of Health shall provide for such clerical and other assistants as may be necessary for the purpose of this act, who shall serve during the pleasure of the Board, and may fix the compensation of persons thus employed within the amount appropriated therefor by the Legislature. Suitable equipment shall be provided for the Bureau of Vital Statistics, which shall be properly equipped with filing cases for the permanent preservation of all official records made and returned under this act.
Section 3. That for the purposes of this Act the State shall be divided into Vital Statistic Registration districts by the State Board of Health; provided, however, that the City of Wilmington shall be one of the Vital Statistic Registration districts of the State.
Section 4. The State Board of Health shall appoint a Local Registrar of Vital Statistics for each Vital Statistics Registration district in the State and the State Registrar shall approve of the deputy to act in case of illness or absence of the Local Registrar; provided, however, that the State Board of Health shall appoint the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages of the City of Wilmington the Local Registrar of the Vital Statistic Registration district of Wilmington as provided in Section 3.
The term of office of Local Registrar appointed by said Board and their deputies shall be for two years, beginning with the first day of May, 1913 and shall continue in office as such until removed or the election of a successor; provided, however, that the term of office of the Local Registrar of the Vital Statistic Registration district of Wilmington shall commence and end with the term of office of the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages of the City of Wilmington.
Any Local Registrar appointed by said board or his deputy, who fails or neglects to discharge efficiently the duties of his office as laid down in this act, or who fails to comply with the Rules of the State Board of Health, or who fails to make prompt and complete returns of births as required hereby, shall be forthwith removed from his office by the State Board of Health, and his successor appointed, in addition to any other penalties that may be imposed for failure or neglect to perform his duty, under this act.
Each Local Registrar appointed by said Board shall, immediately upon his acceptance of appointment as such, appoint a deputy, whose duty it shall be to act in his stead in case of absence, illness or disability, said Deputy Registrar shall in writing accept such appointment, and shall be subject to all laws, rules and regulations governing the action of Local Registrars. And when it may appear necessary for the convenience of the people in any district, the Local Registrar is hereby authorized, with the approval of the State Registrar, to appoint one or more suitable persons to act as Local Sub-registrars, who shall be authorized to receive Birth Certificates in and for such portions of the district as may be designated; and each sub-registrar shall note, over his signature, the date on which each certificate was filed, and shall forward all certificates to the Local Registrar of the district within ten days after receiving the same, and in all cases before the third day of the following month; provided, that all sub-registrars shall be subject to the supervision and control of the State Registrar, and may be by him removed for neglect or failure to perform their duties in accordance with the provisions of this act or the rules and regulations of the State Board of Health and the State Registrar, and they shall be liable to the same penalties for neglect of duties as the Local Registrar.
Section 5. That all births that occur in the State shall be immediately registered in the registration district in which they occur, as provided by this act.
Section 6. That it shall be the duty of the attending physician or midwife to file a certificate of birth, properly and completely filled out, giving all the particulars required by this act, with the Local Registrar of the district in which the birth occurred, within ten days after the date of birth. And if there be no attending physician or midwife, then it shall be the duty of the father or mother of the child, householder or owner of the premises, manager or superintendent of public or private institutions in which the birth occurred to notify the Local Registrar, within ten days after the birth, of the fact of such birth having occurred. It shall then, in such case, be the duty of the Local Registrar to secure the necessary information and signature to make a proper certificate of birth; provided, that in cities the certificate of birth shall be filed at a less interval than ten days after birth, if so required by municipal ordinance (or regulations) now in force or that may hereafter be enacted.
That still born children or those dead at birth shall be registered as births and also as deaths, and a certificate of both the birth and death shall be filed with the Local Registrar, in the usual form and manner, the certificate of birth to contain, in place of the name of the child, the word "Stillbirth". The medical certificate of the cause of death shall be signed by the attending physician, if any, and shall state the cause of death as "Stillborn". With the cause of the stillbirth, if known, whether a premature birth, and, if born prematurely, the period of uterine gestation, in months, if known; and a burial or removal permit in the usual form shall be required. Midwives shall not sign certificates of death for stillborn children; but such cases, and stillbirths occurring without attendance of either physician or midwife, shall be treated as deaths without medical attendance.
That each physician shall be entitled to be paid the sum of ten cents for each birth certificate of a child born after this act goes into effect, properly and completely made out and registered with the Local Registrar of the district in which the birth occurred.
The Local Registrar shall certify to the State Registrar the amount thus due each physician on the first day of each year.
The State Registrar shall then draw by warrant, from the County Treasurer of each County, the amount due the physician for said certificates in each county, provided said amount shall tally with the Birth Certificates registered in the Bureau of Vital Statistics, and shall immediately on receiving said moneys from said County Treasurer pay said physician as provided in this section.
Any physician or person present at the birth of any child, or (if not present at the time of the birth of the child) who attends the case of any mother during her lying-in period, shall within twenty-four hours report said birth to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics on a form supplied by the State Registrar. This form shall contain the following information:
(1) Name of Father and Mother.
(2) Date of Birth of the child, and such other information as the State Board of Health may require.
This report shall in no way supplant or relieve any responsibility for filing a certificate of the birth as provided for in this section. Any person failing to make the reports as provided in this section shall be liable to the penalties provided in Section 14 of this act.
Section 7. That the certificates of birth shall contain the following items:
(1) Place of birth, including state, county, township, or town, village or city. If in a city, the ward, street and house number; if in a hospital or other institution, the name of the same to be given, instead of the street and house number.
(2) Full name of child. If the child dies without a name, before the certificate is filed, enter the words "died unnamed". If the living child has not yet been named at the date of filing certificate of birth, the space for "full name of child" is to be left blank, to be filled out subsequently by a supplemental report, as hereinafter provided.
(3) Sex of child.
(4) Whether a twin, triplet, or other plural birth. A separate certificate shall be required for each child in case of plural birth, giving number of child in order of birth.
(5) Whether legitimate or illegitimate.
(6) Full name of father, except for illegitimate children.
(7) Residence of father.
(8) Color or race of father.
(9) Age of father at last birthday, in years.
(10) Birthplace of father; state or foreign country.
(11) Occupation of father.
(12) Maiden name of mother.
(13) Residence of mother.
(14) Color or race of mother.
(15) Age of mother at last birthday, in years.
(16) Birthplace of mother; state or foreign country.
(17) Occupation of mother.
(18) Number of child of this mother, and number of children of this mother now living.
(19) The Certificate of attending physician or mid wife as to attendance at birth, including- statement of year, month, day and hour of birth, and whether the child was alive or dead at birth. This certificate shall be signed by the attending physician or midwife, with date of signature and address ; if there is no physician or midwife in attendance, then the father or mother of the child, household, or owner of the premises, or manager or superintendent of public or private institutions, or other competent person, whose duty it shall be to notify the Local Registrar of such birth.
(20) Exact date of filing in office of Local Registrar, attested by his official signature, and registered number of birth, as hereinafter provided.
All certificates of birth shall be written legibly, in unfading black ink, and no certificate shall be held to be complete and correct that does not supply all of the items of information called for herein, or satisfactorily account for their omission.
Section 8. That when any certificate of birth of a living child is presented without the statement of the given name, then the Local Registrar shall make out and deliver to the parents of the child a special blank for the supplemental report of the given name of the child, which shall be filled out as directed, and returned to the Local Registrar, as soon as the child shall have been named, which in no ease shall be later than thirty days from the birth of said child. That in case the parent does not comply with this section lie shall be liable to the penalty prescribed in Section 14 of this act.
Section 9. That every physician and midwife shall, without delay, register his or her name, address and occupation with the Local Registrar of the district in which he or she resides, or may hereafter establish a residence; and shall thereupon be supplied by the Local Registrar with a copy of this act, together with such rules and regulations as may be prepared by the State Registrar relative to its enforcement. Within thirty days after the close of each calendar year each Local Registrar shall make a return to the State Registrar of all physicians, midwives or undertakers who have been registered in his district during the whole or any part of the preceding calendar year; provided, that no fee or other compensation shall be charged by Local Registrars to physicians or midwives for registering their names under this section or making returns thereof to the State Registrar.
Section 10. That the State Registrar shall prepare, to prepare, print and supply to all registrars all blanks and forms used in registering, recording and preserving the returns, or in otherwise carrying out the purposes of this act; and shall prepare and issue such detailed instructions as may be required to secure the uniform observance of its provisions and the maintenance of a perfect system of registration. And no other blanks shall be used than those supplied by the State Registrar. He shall carefully examine the certificates received monthly from the Local Registrars, and if any such are incomplete or unsatisfactory he shall require such further information to be furnished as may be necessary to make the record complete and satisfactory. And all physicians, midwives or informants connected with any case, and all other persons having knowledge of the facts, are hereby required to furnish such information as they may possess regarding any birth upon demand of the State Registrar, in person, by mail, or through the Local Registrar. He shall further arrange, bind and permanently preserve the certificates in a systematic manner.
Section 11. That it shall be the duty of the Local Registrars to supply blank forms of certificates to such persons as require them. Each Local Registrar shall carefully examine each certificate of birth when presented for record, to see that it has been made out in accordance with the provisions of this act and the instructions of the State Registrar; and if any certificate of birth is incomplete or unsatisfactory, it shall be his duty to call attention to the defects in the return, and to see that they are corrected. If a certificate of birth is incomplete, he shall immediately notify the informant, and require him to supply the missing items if they can be obtained. He shall then number consecutively the certificates of births, in two separate series, beginning with the "number one" for the first birth in each calendar year, and sign his name as registrar in attest of the date of filing in his office. He shall also make a complete and accurate copy of each birth certificate registered by him as directed by the State Board of Health, to be kept and permanently preserved in his office as the Local Record of such birth, in such manner as directed by the State Registrar. And he shall, on the tenth day of each month, transmit to the State Registrar all original certificates registered by him during the preceding month, and if no births occurred in any month, he shall, on the tenth of the following month, report that fact to the State Registrar, on a card provided for this purpose.
Section 12. Each Local Registrar shall be required to make three correct copies of each birth certificate received that is properly and completely made out. One copy of which shall be kept by the Local Registrar making the same, one copy shall be forwarded to the State Registrar of the State Board of Health and one copy shall be forwarded to the Recorder of Deeds of the County in which the Vital Statistic Registration district of said Local Registrar is located. For each copy of a birth certificate properly and completely made out and forwarded to the said Recorder of Deeds, the Local Registrar shall be paid the sum of twenty-five cents by the Treasurer of the County in which the Vital Statistic Registration district of said Local Registrar is located; provided, however, that the Board of Health of the City of Wilmington or the proper officer thereof shall be paid the sum of twenty-five cents for each copy of a birth certificate properly and completely made out and forwarded to the Recorder of Deeds in New Castle County by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages of the City of Wilmington. The Deputy Registrar and the Sub-Registrar shall be paid the sum of ten cents for each certificate received and returned by them as provided in Section 4 of this Act and the said sum of ten cents shall be deducted from the amount payable to the Local Registrar for forwarding the copy of the birth certificate to the Recorder of Deeds. All sums payable under the provisions of this Section shall be paid quarterly by the Treasurer of the several Counties.
Section 13. The Recorder of Deeds of each county in Delaware shall be furnished with Loose-leaf Binders for Births, into which he shall place in proper order the returns of Births immediately on the receipt of same from the different Local Registrars of the county in which he is the Recorder of Deeds, said returns shall be made quarterly by the said Local Registrars.
These Binders shall be plainly marked
"Register of Births"
and shall be part of his official records. All said registers shall at all times be accessible to physicians, clergymen
and lawyers without charge.
Each Local Registrar shall be furnished with Loose- leaf Binders similar to those furnished the Recorder of Deeds, and shall file his quarterly copy in same manner as the Recorder of Deeds. The State Registrar shall be furnished with Loose-leaf Binders, and shall file the quarterly copies in same manner as the Recorders of Deeds.
Section 14. That the State Registrar or Recorder of Deeds shall, upon request, furnish any applicant a certified copy of the record of any birth registered under provisions of this act, for the making and certification of which he shall be entitled to a fee of fifty cents, to be paid by the applicant. And the record or any such copy of the record of a birth, when properly certified by the State Registrar or County Recorder of Deeds to be a true copy thereof, shall be prima facie evidence in all courts and places of the facts therein stated. For any search of the files and records, when no certified copy is made, the State Registrar or Recorder of Deeds shall be entitled to a fee of fifty cents for each hour or fractional part of an hour of time of search to be paid by the applicant.
And any Local Registrar or Deputy Registrar, who shall neglect or fail to enforce the provisions of this act in his district, or shall neglect or refuse to perform any of the duties imposed upon him by this act or by the instructions and directions of the State Registrar, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than Ten Dollars nor more than One Hundred Dollars.
And any person who shall willfully alter any certificate of birth, or the copy of any certificate of birth, on file in the office of the Local Registrar, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than Ten Dollars nor more than One Hundred Dollars, or be imprisoned in the county jail not exceeding sixty days, or suffer both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.
And any other person or persons who shall violate any of the provisions of this act, or who shall willfully neglect or refuse to perform any duties imposed upon them by the provisions of this act, or shall furnish false information to a physician, midwife, or informant, for the purpose of making incorrect certification of births shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than Five Dollars nor more than One Hundred Dollars.
Section 15. If any physician or midwife shall neglect or refuse to comply with the duties imposed on such person or persons, by any part or parts of this act, he shall be fined not less than Five or more than Twenty-five Dollars for each and every case so neglected or refused; to be recovered before any Justice of the Peace. No penalties under this section to interfere with the specific penalties laid down in this act.
Section 16. That Local Registrars are hereby charged with the strict and thorough enforcement of the provisions of this act in their several districts, under the supervision and direction of the State Registrar. And they shall make no* [*an] immediate report to the State Registrar of any violation of this law coming to their notice by observation or upon complaint of any person, or otherwise. The State Registrar is hereby charged with the thorough and efficient execution of the provisions of this act in every part of the State, and with supervisory power over Local Registrars, to the end that all of its requirements shall be uniformly complied with. He shall have authority to investigate cases of irregularity or violation of law, personally or by accredited representative, and all Local Registrars shall aid him, upon request, in such investigations. For any violation of this act or parts thereof the State Registrar may bring action against the violator before any Justice of the Peace and from his decision there shall be no appeal. When he shall deem it necessary, be shall report cases of violation of any of the provisions of this act to the Attorney General of Delaware, with a statement of the facts and circumstances; and when any such case is reported to him by the State Registrar, the Attorney General shall forthwith initiate and promptly follow up the necessary proceedings against the parties responsible for the alleged violations of law.
Section 17. That the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1000.00)or such portion thereof as may be necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this act, annually shall be appropriated for the carrying into effect the provisions of this act, and the same is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the hands of the State Treasurer not otherwise appropriated, and for the annual expenses of the same thereafter. The said appropriation shall be paid to the State Board of Health as other funds are paid to them, and said appropriation shall be known as Vital Statistics Appropriation.
Section 18. That the State Registrar shall furnish Postal Cards, and stamped envelopes, and such other and stationery as may be necessary for the proper carrying into effect the provisions of this act. All such cards and envelopes shall be marked: State Board of Health Official Business.
Any person using such State property for any but official business shall, on conviction thereof, be fined not less than fifty nor more than two hundred dollars.
The above mentioned postal cards or stamped envelopes or stationery may be used for reporting any contagious or infectious diseases to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics, or any official of the State Board of Health, or for any official business of said State Registrar or State Board of Health, or to the same.
Section 19. No system for the registration of births shall be continued or maintained in any of the several municipalities of this State, unless they are in harmony with the provisions of this act.
Section 20. That from the decision of the Justice of Justice of the Peace, under any of the provisions of this act, there shall be no appeal.
Section 21. The Secretary of State is hereby authorized and directed to have one thousand copies of this act printed and delivered to the State Registrar, within sixty days after the passage of this act.
Section 22. That any section or sections of this act, or part or parts of such, may be put into operation by the State Board of Health and have the force of law, at any time before July 1st, 1913.
That on July 1st, 1913, every section of this act, except section 24, shall be in force.
Section 23. That all fines recovered under this act before any Justice of the Peace, shall be paid to the Registrar of Vital Statistics and by him to the Treasurer of the State and applied to the general fund of the State.
That the costs in all cases shall be paid by the person fined.
Section 24. That on and after January 1st, 1914, all yearly Statistical reports shall begin on January 1st.
Section 25. That all acts and parts of acts, inconsistent with the provisions of this act or supplied by this act, are hereby repealed.
Approved March 31, A. D. 1913.