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Computer error misprints about 500 Pennsylvania birth certificates

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

About 500 new Pennsylvanians will get the wrong answer to the question “Who's your Daddy?” if they rely on their misprinted birth certificates.

A computer glitch caused the problem when the state Division of Vital Records transitioned to new records software, officials said.

The problem affected about 500 birth certificates, said department spokeswoman Holli Senior. The software was supposed to pull fathers' names from state records, but wound up pulling information from other areas of the birth records so the fathers' names were incorrectly printed on the birth certificates.

Some of about 500 erroneous certificates affected fathers in Allegheny, Beaver, Indiana, Washington and Westmoreland counties, Senior said. She declined to identify the parents because the information is confidential.

“It affected a group of records processed in late December, after a new software update from the vendor,” she said. “Those birth certificates were mailed in early January.”

Senior said about 35 of recipients of the false birth certificates contacted the department to correct the mistake.

The state's permanent, computerized birth records are correct, however. Those incorrect birth certificates have received a letter explaining the mix-up and instructions on how to get a corrected copy, Senior said.

Staff writer Bill Zlatos contributed to this report.

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