Note: There are all sorts of reasons why you may wish to retrieve someone's birth record. Maybe you lost your own birth certificate and need a copy of it in order to apply for a passport. Maybe you are trying to locate someone or wish to contact someone's parents, relatives or neighbors in order to do a background check. Most states consider this to be public information and will release it to anyone.
Information in the record will include the subject's full name and date of birth, place of birth, physician's name, names of parents, ages of parents, occupations of parents, mother's maiden name, address of parents, and place of birth of parents. From the birth certificate, you can verify the accuracy of someone's name. If you don't know the exact date of birth of your subject, you can order a search to be done that will span several years.
Once you have the certificate, you will have a confirmation of the exact date of birth. Knowing where the subject was born is important so that you can contact relatives and neighbors for information. It may also be possible to conduct a search of motor vehicle records to locate someone's parents. (If your subject has decided not to introduce you to his/her parents, you might wonder why.) In any event, knowing information about the parents will give you more information in case you decide that it would be proper for you to locate and question them or their relatives. The subject's parents may still reside at the same place they did at the time of the birth; you can always check property records. As a last resort, you may wish to contact the physician listed on the birth certificate. (Spies Online has a page which will allow you to locate physicians.)
Know of a site that belongs on this list? Contact Spies Online.