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All About N.S.W. Birth Declarations

In 1913 administrative arrangements were made to assist people unable to register the true details of their child's birth and parentage because of inadequacies in the New South Wales legislation. The three areas of concern were:

  • Parents who had not registered their child's birth within six months. Legislation was amended to accommodate this in 1935.
  • Parents who were unable to legitimate their child, despite their subsequent marriage, because there had been a legal impediment to their marriage at the time of the child's birth. This anomaly was not remedied until the introduction of the Commonwealth Marriage Act in 1961.
  • Foster parents who had "adopted" a child and were unable to have their own details recorded in any form on the child's birth registration. Legal adoptions were not introduced until 1924.

The system of Declaration allowed the necessary details to be formally declared and recorded by the N.S.W. Registrar General. No formal registration was created however certified copies of these declared details were issued. Declarations were indexed along with normal registrations in the year the birth occurred, although there are some instances when the index entry appears in the year the declaration was made without any cross reference to the year of birth. Over 4,000 Declarations are held by the New South Wales Registry. Unfortunately, some contain little information about the events.

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