Recording births began thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, Greece, China and Rome, though issuing a birth certificate as an official record was begun in the United Kingdom in 1853, a practice later adopted by the United States in the early 1900s. Today, people receive official birth certificates soon after a baby's birth. They serve as cherished mementos and are becoming popular as a gift item and keepsake.
Designing a birth certificate is most easily done using a template, many of which are available for free online and in most word processing programs. If you are making the certificate as a gift for a newborn, you may wish to make it particularly special by utilising your own artistic talent or graphic design know-how.
Find a template that you like. You may wish to use one that includes a border or faded images in the background, but if the paper you will be using is decorated, choose a blank document instead.
Insert lines for the baby's name, gender, birth month, day, year, mother's maiden name, father's name and location of birth including city, state, country, county and hospital (optional). Some templates have preset fields for this information, while others will require the use of tables or text blocks to set it up. If you use the latter method, hide the borders for a more professional look.
Leave an area for a stamp or seal. Official birth certificates are marked with a raised seal from the awarding municipality, so an embossed sticker or imitation seal can be applied to lend a look of formality.
Speciality papers can be purchased at most office supply retailers or online. Stylish, textured paper will give your certificate an antique look. If it is a gift, place it in a picture frame to be hung in the child's nursery.