The announcements of Barack Obama's birth printed by two Hawaii newspapers in 1961 do not provide solid proof of a birth in the Aloha State because of uncertainties over the policies and procedures that apparently were being used at the time.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, for example, according to its website, now reprints birth information it receives from Hawaii's Department of Health.
"We don't have an editor who handles birth and marriage announcements; we print what we receive from the Department of Health Vital Statistics System," a Star-Bulletin newsroom operator explained to WND.
The operator said, "This is how we've always done it."
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The newspaper's "proof" of birth, therefore, could be based on a state-issued "Certification of Live Birth" which, as WND has reported is insufficient alone, even for some State Department officials, to document the birthplace.
Many people remain unaware a child does not even have to be born in Hawaii to receive a Certification of Live Birth, the very "evidence" the White House has cited in defending its assertion Obama was born in Hawaii.
Hawaiian law specifically allows "an adult or the legal parents of a minor child" to apply to the health department and, upon unspecified proof, be given the birth document.
The only requirement for proof cited in the law doesn't address the birth of the child either, just "that the legal parents of such individual while living without Territory or State of Hawaii had declared the Territory or State of Hawaii as their legal residence for at least one year immediately preceding the birth or adoption of such child."
Complicating the situation somewhat is the affirmation from a woman in the Star-Bulletin newsroom – who did not identify herself – that the birth listings today contain just a child's name, no home address. The 1961 newspaper announcements also did not carry the name of the child.
The unanswered question, since the Obama announcement carried an address and no name, was whether the state provided addresses at one time and stopped, and didn't provide the name, or whether the information was obtained in some other fashion. Or was there another procedure to transmit information different from what now is released through the Certification of Live Birth that state officials say is the only document they now provide?
Likewise, the Honolulu Advertiser, which ran a Barack Obama birth announcement in the Aug. 13, 1961, Sunday Advertiser, relies on the state-issued certification, rather than reporting from hospitals.
The Advertiser's Marsha McFadden told WND at the time of Obama's birth announcement, the newspaper got all of its information from the state Department of Health. That would include the address.
"If we published it, it came from the state," she said.
She said today's rules are different. Anyone can submit information for announcements but the newspaper requires a birth document to verify. It also no longer uses addresses.