I would like to have my mother in law's birth certificate. She lives across the country and is loosing her memory so it would be a big ask for her to get her birth certificate. And she doesn't have a copy. I'd like it given the chance it has her birth father's name on it. Likelihood of that is low I reckon but I'd still like to make sure.

So my question is whether my husband can get it without her involvement?

  • 2
    A belated welcome to G&FH.SE! I agree with what @PolyGeo said in his closing comments. My experience is that the rules are different everywhere, but that immediate family members often face fewer restrictions than others. If your husband can apply, his request might have a better chance of success than yours.
    – Jan Murphy
    Dec 10, 2014 at 1:39

1 Answer 1


I think the answer to your question may be that you will need to ask Queensland's Registrar-General in order to find out.

The process is described on a Queensland Government page entitled Applying for a birth certificate which says that your husband will need to:

  • Include proof of eligibility

To determine that eligibility there is a PDF on the same site entitled Certificate Access Policy which says:

General Principles

3.1 Section 44(2) of the Act states that unless the application relates to historical information, the Registrar may refuse the application if the applicant does not have an adequate reason for obtaining the requested information or certificate.

The Act also requires that in determining an applicant's eligibility to obtain the requested information or certificate, in respect of a registered person, the Registrar must have regard to 

  • the relationship, if any, between the applicant and the person to whom the information relates; and
  • the reason that the applicant wants the information; and
  • the use to be made of the information; and
  • the age of the entry; and
  • the contents of the entry or source document; and
  • the sensitivity of the information; and
  • any other relevant factors.

In satisfying the above factors, the prime concern is that adequate care needs to be taken to prevent unjustified intrusion to privacy of an individual and to prevent information being obtained fraudulently or improperly, but not hinder those persons who have a legitimate entitlement to the requested information or certificate.

I have no legal background but I think this may say that such applications are treated on a case by case basis. I would expect that your husband being her child would have more chance of obtaining it than anyone else.

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