The Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services helpfully allows you to order for informational purposes either a birth certificate or a death certificate using the same form. Merely check the box for the event that has occurred for the individual in question.
Note that it is much cheaper to request a death certificate, which adds insult to injury for us unlucky folks who are requesting birth certificates. Also note that this is in no way intended as a political argument. It is however intended as a call to rent Brazil and contemplate what might happen if you check the wrong box!