Birth Defects Registry - Continued

Definition of Birth Defects

Birth defects are structural changes present at birth that can affect almost any part or parts of the body (e.g., heart, brain, foot). They may affect how the body looks, works, or both. Birth defects can vary from mild to severe. The well-being of each child affected with a birth defect depends mostly on which organ or body part is involved and how much it is affected. Depending on the severity of the defect and what body part is affected, the expected lifespan of a person with a birth defect may or may not be affected.

For more information on birth defects, please take a look at our brochure.

How to Register a Child

Children must be registered if they meet 3 criteria:

  1. Have a birth defect (see above for the definition)
  2. Are 5 years old or younger 
  3. Live in New Jersey or become a resident of New Jersey

Children are registered by using the electronic reporting system, a State-installed virtual private network (VPN) easily accessible from each user’s computer. Hospitals designate Birth Defects staff to administer the electronic system, who in turn authorizes hospital users.  To request installation of the electronic system, please email us at

Hospitals and their satellites are provided training on the use of the system. Training for new employees or new users can be provided by the BDR staff upon request. Information is entered into the database, and is searchable for that particular hospital only. A statewide search function is currently being developed and tested.

Facilities that do not have access to the electronic system can access the SCH-0 form on the BDR website.  Instructions are provided to help guide the reporting facility in completing the form.  Paper forms can be mailed or faxed to:

The Birth Defects Registry
Department of Health
Division of Family Health Services
P.O. Box 364
Trenton, N.J., 08625
Fax: (609) 292-8235

Reportable conditions are found in the ICD 9 CM and ICD-10 CM codes with diagnostic descriptions provided.  Please note that there are exclusions for some conditions that do not need to be reported.

Last Reviewed: 3/17/2017