Baby Footprint Identification


Identification of new born baby’s is one of the main tasks of the medical team following birth. Especially in developing countries , where security in public maternity wards is not very tight, and overcrowding is common, the risks of a baby swap or kidnap are above acceptable.

Reliable and fast methods for identification of new born baby’s were made available and used inside maternity and hospitals, as well as on airports or bus stations.

New born baby’s fingerprints cant be clearly captured , palm print recognition is not suitable for new born baby’s yet since it is often difficult to let a newborn open his hand. Although the DNA examination is proven to be efficient in the uni-vocal identification of individuals , but it comes at high cost and can’t be used in real time applications , demanding sophisticated laboratory procedures.

Compared to other techniques , footprint recognition is very attractive for newborn personal authentication , since it is

  • a non invasive method
  • easy applicability
  • low cost
  • wide acceptance.


Acquisition of newborns footprints at birth is used as means of identification in many countries since the beginning of the 20th century . Usually the footprints are collected with ink spread on the foot with a cylinder and then printed on the newborns’ medical record, along with the mothers fingerprint. That way, it is expected that any identity doubt about the baby or his/her mother can verified. Unfortunately, due to illegibility problems, the use of these footprints for identification purposes is not possible in the majority of cases.

According to several studies (Cat, 2003; Shepard et al., 1966; Pel´a et al., 1975; Lomuto and Duverges, 1995; Thompson et al., 1981), the main reasons for illegible footprints are:

  • Use of inadequate materials (ink, paper, cylinder);
  • Untrained personal for footprint acquisition;
  • Baby’s skin covered with an oily substance;
  • Reduced thickness of the newborn epidermis, easily deforming the ridges upon contact and filling the valleys between ridges with ink;
  • Reduced size of the newborns ridges, which are three to five times smaller than on adults.


  • Image acquisition is fast , so reduces time for capturing footprint image.
  • More reliable than other types of newborns footprints identification.
  • If high resolution scanner used to scan ,greater resolution would yield better results.
  • Fast and accurate identification.

Application Snapshots:

Fig 1.0 Application Showing Successful Matching Result

Fig 2.0 Application Showing Failed Matching Result