After years of speculation, and recent weeks of controversy, the White House has released a long-form copy of President Obama's birth certificate from Hawaii.
The certificate is signed by the delivery doctor, Obama's mother and the local registrar. His mother, then 18, signed her name (Stanley) Ann Dunham Obama.
The form says Barack Hussein Obama II was born at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital, within the city limits of Honolulu.
There's no mention of religion. It says his father Barack Hussein Obama, age 25, was African and born in Kenya and his mother was Caucasian and born in Wichita, Kan. Obama's mother and the doctor signed the certificate on Aug. 7 and 8.
Hawaii's registrar certified the new photocopy of the document provided to the White House on April 25, 2011.
In addition to releasing the birth certificate, the White House also released copies of its communication with the state of Hawaii. Those documents show that the plan to release the birth certificate has been in place since last week. On Friday, April 22, Obama sent a letter to the state requesting two copies of the document:
In response, the state director of health said that while the policy is not to release physical copies, she was making an exception:
In a blog post on the White House website, Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer explained the reason for releasing the birth certificate:
The President believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn’t good for the country. It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country. Therefore, the President directed his counsel to review the legal authority for seeking access to the long form certificate and to request on that basis that the Hawaii State Department of Health make an exception to release a copy of his long form birth certificate. They granted that exception in part because of the tremendous volume of requests they had been getting.
Pfeiffer said the above document is "exactly what the President received" when he requested his birth certificate. "In fact," he said, "the document posted on the campaign website is what Hawaiians use to get a driver’s license from the state and the document recognized by the Federal Government and the courts for all legal purposes. That’s because it is the birth certificate."
"This is not and should not be an open question," he added.
This is a breaking story. Updates will be added. The Associated Press contributed to this report.