Parents have been sent the wrong birth certificates in an embarrassing mixup at the Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages.


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A report in today’s Herald Sun states nine parents have complained they received documents for the wrong child.

A Northcote mum said it was distressing to discover that her new baby’s documents had been sent to another person.

“Who knows who received my son’s birth certificate?’’ she said.
“It’s scary, all these reports of identity theft on the rise and now the Government lets this happen.’’

Birth, Deaths and Marriages director and registrar Erin Keleher contacted Victorian parents last week to alert them to the mistake. The Registry blames staff for the mix-up and are unsure how many Victorian parents have been affected.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Sheree Argento said a staff error had occurred and workers had undergone extra training to ensure the mistake did not happen again.

“BDM is contacting people who may have been affected by the error to ensure that correct certificates are provided and incorrect certificates are returned,’’ she said.

“BDM will also refund the cost of certificates for people affected by the error.

“Stringent quality assurance processes have been reinforced to ensure that all orders for multiple certificates are double-checked before dispatch.’’

Opposition spokesman John Pesutto said sending babies’ birth certificates to strangers was a serious issue.

The certificates affected were from December, with incorrect documents beginning to arrive in the mail on December 11.

A hotline has been set up. Those who received a certificate in error are asked to contact BDM on 1300 369 367 or visit the website.


Were you caught in the mixup?

Share your thoughts below.

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  • I’m glad this didn’t happen to me, I’d be so worried! I hope the wrong ones all get returned so the parents can have some relief at least.


  • This is a mistake but it’s still a violation of a person’s privacy.


  • Oops, you have to double check everything nowadays!!


  • Very distressing for all concerned.


  • No I personally was not affected but I can imagine how distressing this would be for the parents who were…
    I hope that they rectify the issue quickly and that it doesn’t happen again.


  • Lucky it was picked up but this should not have happened. Sorry to those families that had to go through this.


  • Luckily it was picked up. A bit of a worry hey!


  • wow that is incredible! lucky that the parents looked at the details on it


  • Like hs


  • These documents contain sensitive information. Errors like this should not occur. Hopefully they take a good look at their processes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.


  • This is an extremely serious issue that I find disturbing. I cannot fathom how this happens in Australia. Imagine if such mistakes extended to other ID documents too!!!


  • That really shouldn’t happen with such sensative information. Glad it was picked up fast.


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