We are planning our third homebirth, hopefully second successful. Our last birth was wonderful. I called the health dept. prior to the birth to find out what I needed to do to obtain a birth certificate. I spoke to the head of the health dept who told me to call once the baby came and make an appt and DH and I could come in and fill out the form. We did, she kept the appt on time and the whole thing was very pleasant. She was excited about our birth!
Flash Forward to present day: We are moving to a new county, I called the health dept asking specific for the person who does birth certificates. I spoke with her and she informed me that this year the state changed their process and now it's all electronic. This sounds easier to me but she made it sound like a fiasco. I need to get the necessary forms in advance, fill them out at the birth, call her for an appt. and it's likely that a CPS social worker will be involved in the interview to assess the danger we may have caused to our baby. UMMMM???? NO!!!!
So, now I am freaked out, my DH is OVERLY freaked out. We don't even want to get him a birth certificate!!! I imagine it was her way of using scare tactic but I don't know. We had a CPS issue with our first birth for attempting a homebirth and refusing vaccines in the hospital. We were declared "fit" parents and it wasn't an issue but I know we have a file in the county for it. I just don't want to go through this again. I want to be stubborn and evasive and just tell them I am not complying BUT I know families who's new baby has been taken from them for up to 6months for investigative purposes. I could not handle that. I want to tell them we'd be happy to meet them in our home with advanced notice and then not allow them in once they come without a warrant. I don't know what to do. I know our rights but it seems futile to risk losing our baby for a "time" if we are difficult. I would leave the baby behind and DH and I would go but I really don't think I can do that.
Anyone have experience THIS YEAR or know anyone who has in NC??? I don't think the county is important because she told me it's a state thing. I just want to know if there is anyone with experience so I can have some peace of mind. When I go in to get the forms once we get settled, I am going to further ask her about the process and see what she has to say then. It may be that she misspoke or implied something that was not absolute. But I'd love to hear if anyone else know anything!
My default method for dealing with pretty much any government agency is though a lawyer. I have one on retainer specifically for "civil issues involving myself, dh, and our home, children, pets, or property". I was having trouble with my xh making false claims to anyone that would listen which resulted in us regularly being checked up on. For fear that someone from one of these agencies (wasn't often CPS, but sometimes) would do something other than apologize for wasting our time and disappear...I found a lawyer that was willing to be our buffer on anything that may come up. If some kind of charges were actually made against us, it's beyond his contract, but his office files papers for us if we're likely to be harassed, and calls anyone that investigates us to "follow up" (otherwise known as let them know we're not easy marks), and if cps shows up I get him on the phone and hand it to the worker. I love my lawyer....I hate living in a country that I need one, but I love having a guard dog that won't get put down for protecting me.
Other than hiring a legal guard dog....I would tell the woman that "oh, pregnancy brain. I keep getting confused because the new process is so different than what we've done before" and get her to put it in writing for you. Then, I'd check with the director of the health dept in your old county to see if that is, indeed, the way things are SUPPOSED to be handled. If not, ask her who to talk to about this mishandling of the situation. I really really doubt that the director of the health dept in your current county is being honest. It sounds like she's abusing her power to intimidate and bully people she sees as easy targets.
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