California Birth Index definition

The California Office of Health Information and Research is in charge of a database that gathers birth records of all registered births in the state between 1905 and 1995.

This birth record database is known as the California Birth Index, or CABI, in short.

What Information Does CABI Contain?

The California Birth Index records keep an abstract of an individual’s California birth certificate, which includes the following details:

  • Date of birth
  • Full name
  • County of birth
  • Gender
  • Mother’s maiden name

How to Access the California Birth Index

CABI is available online at californiabirthindex.org and ancestry.com. Users can easily access the information in the California Birth Index through either of these websites. Anyone with the full name and gender of the citizen they are searching for can access the data compiled within the CABI database.

Eligible individuals who need more information about the citizen they are searching for in the CABI may order a birth certificate replacement. A certified copy of the birth certificate will have more details since the information available on the CABI is an abstract of the original birth record.

Adopted Individuals on the California Birth Index

The way adopted persons are listed in the California Birth Index varies. Some adopted citizens appear in the CABI under different names, while others are not listed at all.

Adopted persons listed in the CABI may appear under:

  • Their birth name
  • Their adopted name
  • Both

Read more: How can I get my original Birth Certificate if I was adopted?

California Birth Index Identity Theft Concerns

Some critics have argued that California Birth Index information aids in identity theft. In fact, the CABI does not pose a risk for citizens since it doesn’t give users a copy of another individual’s birth certificate.

The CABI merely makes an abstract of the information contained in the actual birth certificate available. Although CABI is a critical genealogy tool, it has also raised privacy concerns.

In this regard, it is essential to remember that short-form birth certificates are publicly accessible in the State of California. California short-form birth certificate copies bear the statement: "Informational, not a valid document to establish identity" across the front of the document.

To reduce the risk of identity theft, only qualified individuals are authorized to obtain a long-form birth certificate in California.

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