The California Birth Index (CABI) is a database compiled by the California Office of Health Information and Research. The index contains birth records of all registered births in California between 1905 and 1995. Each record is an abstract of a person's birth certificate, including date of birth, full name[1], county of birth, gender, and mother's maiden name. People who have been adopted are sometimes listed by their birth name, sometimes listed by their adopted name and sometimes not listed at all. The CABI is considered a valuable genealogy tool but is also criticised for privacy issues.


Critics of the index have claimed that the index's information aides in identity theft.[2] Several public record websites have purchased copies of the index from the California Department of Health Services, typically priced at US$900. In 2001, the San Jose Mercury News printed a story about the index, then accessible on genealogical website Rootsweb, causing numerous complaints and requests for removal from the index, and ultimately leading to the index being removed from the site.[2]

The California Birth Index, along with the California Death Index, used to be available for free from Rootsweb. When Rootsweb was purchased by, the index remained available for a time, but then was pulled by Ancestry due to complaints about privacy concerns. The index was then only available through VitalSearch and later through Family Tree Legends. Ancestry has restored the index to their content, but has not restored the thousands of notes by users posted in the index when it was running as part of Rootsweb.


  1. ^ Full name for those born 1925-1955 and 1978-1995. Only middle initial for the rest.
  2. ^ a b Stefanie Olsen. Identity crisis: Birth records online. CNET News. 3 December 2001.

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at California Birth Index. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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