The Vital Statistics Agency operates as a Special Operating Agency within the program structure of the Ministry of Health and Ministry Responsible for Seniors. It conducts searches, issues certificates and provides certified copies of registered events in British Columbia. It also issues marriage licences, approves and registers changes of name, records adoption details and codifies causes of death for mortality indices, complications of pregnancy, labor or delivery and abnormalities or pathology of infants from births and stillbirths for natality indices. The data in Vital Statistics registries is used to compile a variety of vital event information and statistical reports. The information and reports are used by various federal, provincial, municipal, and health organizations, as well as by physicians, researchers, and epidemiologists for socioeconomic, demographic, and public health purposes.