Obama's birth certificate (Really!)
SUMMARY: For months we've been asking for a birth certificate to sort out rumors about Barack Obama's real name. Confirmed by the state of Hawaii, here it is.
It hit our in-box just like the chain e-mail attacks that made us want it in the first place. It's the final piece to a puzzle we've been sorting out for months.
"I know there have been some rumors spreading about Obama's citizenship, so I wanted to make sure you all had a copy of his birth certificate," Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor wrote in a June 12, 2008, e-mail.
The birth certificate wasn't available before because Obama's birth state of Hawaii does not make such records public and the campaign did not release it.
Shortly after we posted this document on June 12, 2008, some PolitiFact readers questioned its authenticity.
"You have shown a Certificate of Live Birth — not a birth certificate," one e-mailed. "There is a difference. Look at state laws regarding the completion of both forms."
Another wrote: "I have serious doubts about the purported 'birth certificate' you were sent."
To verify we did indeed have the correct document, we contacted the Hawaii Department of Health, which maintains such records.
"It's a valid Hawaii state birth certificate," spokesman Janice Okubo said June 13, 2008, after we e-mailed her our copy.
Okubo said a copy of the birth certificate was requested in June 2008, but she wouldn't specify by whom. But as we know from our attempts to get the record in April 2008, Hawaii law states that only family members can access such records.
With this new information in hand, we've updated the story that prompted our interest in it. Read "Even missionaries botch their facts" here.