Choosing not to get a birth certificate at all... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A SUPPORT ONLY THREAD FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN THE TOPIC HAS BEEN CREATED IN FINDING YOUR TRIBE. IT IS TITLED LIVING DOCUMENT FREE.


Reading through posts here I've seen a lot of women asking questions about what is needed to get a birth certificate for their baby after having a home birth or unassisted birth. I'm a pretty alternative minded creature... I'd hazard to guess that many on the board are... I have many personal beliefs that have led me down the path of not getting a birth certificate for this child at all. I wasn't as "informed" after the birth of my son, but this time around I definitely feel like it's the right thing to do. I'm curious if any other families here have done the same thing, or have thought about the option. Is there anything that you needed to do(I know these things can vary widely from place to place) in lieu of having a birth certificate?

I know that it is not "illegal" to not have one, but if there is anyone out there that could share their experiences, I'd love to hear! How did it effect your lives? Did it make finding health care(I'm one to stick to "alternative health care" anyway) hard? Has there been times that not having a BC for your child has impeded anything serious?

I'm open to anyone's insight and opinions here. Thanks.
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#2 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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I don't have any experience with this, as my DH, DS and I all have BC's and SSN's. But if/when we have another DC, we're not going to register him/her. We feel the government intrudes on people's lives so much that we want/need to minimize it as much as possible. Then, if DC wants to be registered later in life, he/she can apply for an SSN. The only thing is, I don't know whether we could get a passport for DC, and we like to travel...
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#3 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 04:43 PM
 
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My grandmother never got a birth certificate (because she was born on a reservation and the doctor was a drunkard who arrived after the birth had taken place) and it was a HUGE hassle for her to do a lot of things. She finally had to retroactively get one, by getting signatures from people who had witnessed the birth, and it was a federal matter, not just a state or county paperwork problem. They were baffled. She went without insurance, however, for most of her life, but I would think health insurance would be nigh impossible. You need a birth certificate for a SS#, and those are used for EVERYTHING nowadays, including higher education to prevent fraud. The reason she finally got one was so she could get a passport, because they do not accept anything but birth certificates as proof of citizenship.

My advice is not to chance it. Your kid will probably resent you down the road for not having it, and why chance something like a passport or school? Getting a BC before they are a year is INFINITELY easier (even if it is a huge hassle) than waiting and explaining why it wasn't done before.

Just my opinion.
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#4 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 04:47 PM
 
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I researched the idea.... I decided I would only do it if I was set up to live rurally on our own.

No bc = no ss# And I wanted more of MY money back from the government.

No insurance.

No way to get a driver's license later, leading to difficulties in travel

Hard to get into colleges and other schools.

-Angela
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#5 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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I was going to say the same thing as the PP. You have to have a SS# to get health insurance, to work, to register for school. I think it would be nearly impossible to get by without having one these days.

I don't think you can get a SS# without a BC.

Also many summer camps and other activities your child might want to participate in require copies of the BC.
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#6 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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I actually represented a family whose last 5 children were UC and had no birth certificates when I was in law school. Unfortunately, the father died, and the mother needed to get some assistance (food stamps, TANF, Section 8) to make ends meet. She couldn't get ANY of those things without birth certificates and SS numbers. Her children were enrolled in public school after some very inadequate attempts at homeschooling, and she had difficulty getting the kids services to get them up to grade level (no judgment on homeschoolers in general, but this family wasn't up to it). It was a long, tortuous process involving court appearances, witnesses, and a really cranky judge. All in all, I would be inclined to have the paperwork in order if only to be ready should you ever need such services (and for all of the reasons other posters have mentioned!)

Have a beautiful birth
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#7 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 05:30 PM
 
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I wanted to just not get one for dd and am considerring it for this one.

I was married to exy at the time and we really needed the kids to be income tax deductions; we had to keep filing extensions on our tax returns until we had gotten the kids' ss #s. We applied for both birth certificates and ss #s at the same time and ds's was much easier than dd's.

She needed both a birth certificate and a ss# to get her state ID. She needs to show her SS card for such jobs as "Courtesy Clerk" (bagger and general flunkie) at Safeway, In Home Support Services (caregiver for the disabled), and cashier at retail clothing stores. She was homeschooled/unschooled/self-schooled through high school, but the community college she attends now has her ss #.

In spite of all that, I still have my regrets about "caving" and have yet to make that appointment with Planned Parenthood to get a confirmation of pregnancy.

I know that Mary Pride, a fairly well-known personality in the Christian Homeschooling community, does not have social security numbers for her kids. There are people who do it.
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#8 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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How will you get health insurance for the child without a bc because like pp's have said you cant get a ss# without it. I would much rather get my childrens bc when they were born since it is way easier to do now than for them to fight to get one later.

Oh and not to mention income tax return. The first year you can file for the child without a ss# if they havnt been issued one yet but if you dont have one after that then you cant file for that child. At least that is what the people at the tax place told us.

 
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#9 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 06:02 PM
 
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We had trouble trying to get one for dd, and missed the year deadline we didn't know about by mere weeks.(NC was where she was born, we are now in NY)

I'm now currently appealing to a few folks to sign/have notarized a letter (I have to have 3) so I can send that to the state capital...but right now here dd is 2.5 yrs later and no BC. She also has no insurance, and every time we applied for aid (food stamps, medicaid, even the local food banks) we have to "leave her off" or we wouldn't get anything, period. We couldn't count her for tax refund time either, which has been three times around so far.

The only positive thing that happened was at two different WIC offices they let dd get on WIC - thank goodness! At the office we go to now they had me sign a letter of "declaration" about the existance of dd and write a brief explanation as to why she had no ID at all.

The only other thing I have for dd is my proof of preg. signed by a Dr.

I'm currently applying to get her a tax ID # from the IRS so we can amend our taxes for at least 2006....but having a SS# would have made everything so much easier.

I definately agree with the gov't being so intrusive and using the SS# for too many things but we have had too much hassle with out dd's BC and SS# and I don't even want to know what it will be like in the future with out these overimportant peices of paper. If other people have the patience to manage through all of that, more power to them.
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#10 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CalenandEllasmomma View Post
I was going to say the same thing as the PP. You have to have a SS# to get health insurance, to work, to register for school. I think it would be nearly impossible to get by without having one these days.

I don't think you can get a SS# without a BC.
Yep, I was just at the SS website yesterday, you absolutely can't get a SS# without a birth certificate.
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#11 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StrongBeliever View Post
...I'm curious if any other families here have done the same thing, or have thought about the option. Is there anything that you needed to do(I know these things can vary widely from place to place) in lieu of having a birth certificate?
We conscientiously chose to get our children B/Cs. The thing that tipped us over was not being able to get a passport without one. We live in Michigan and the way things are moving with Homeland Security we soon wouldn't be able to visit family land and family members without them.

Quote:
I know that it is not "illegal" to not have one, but if there is anyone out there that could share their experiences, I'd love to hear! How did it effect your lives? Did it make finding health care(I'm one to stick to "alternative health care" anyway) hard? Has there been times that not having a BC for your child has impeded anything serious?
All the folks I know who don't get B/Cs for their children are very independent types. (Not a shock there!) Most are self-employed, the HCPs among them do not accept Medicaid/care, all that I know homeschool their children, and some are income tax resistors. The ones I know with grown children have pursued non-traditional secondary education or went to Hillsdale College. SFAIK, Hillsdale is the only accredited college that does not accept any government funds... not even GI bill.

Health care hasn't been an issue for any of the families I know. Some of the parents are dentists, MD, and naturopaths. They all seem to be well connected to like-minded folks to get whatever services they need. They pay cash at time of service (many HCPs will negotiate a cash at service discount for non-insured patients) and often travel to Canada if surgery is needed. The Amish in my area commonly find it's much cheaper to hire a driver and stay in a hotel for surgery in Canada than to stay at home and pay cash at the local hospital.

You can't join the military or get a social security number without a birth certificate. While many banking options are getting tighter for those w/o a SS# (you can't accept credit cards without one), you can still get basic services by going to banks that cater to undocumented immigrants.

You'd probably get more helpful responses on a libertarian parenting board. Please understand I'm not implying anything about your person beliefs when I say many white supremacists and Christian identity folks could also answer your questions. Being from MI I'd ask former MI Militia members when I'd go up north to visit family. Where I live now I'd ask the Libertarians around the corner or the Aryan Nations folks across the street.

BV

ETA: Rereading my post not all the people I know w/o B/Cs arrange cash at service transactions for health care. Some arrange trade of goods, services, or personal labor for all or part of the debt. My BIL ripped down spruce from his property and made a beautiful king-sized be in exchange for one year's chiropractic care for his family of six. I know one midwife got a homemade quilt as half the fees for global pregnancy care and another who was paid in goats and babysitting services. I used to do a newsletter for an organic farmer in exchange for eggs and the occasional turkey.
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#12 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the replies! Bryony, your post was especially close to the mark... When considering the choice of not registering this child, I took into account that I would have to most everything differently. I AM an extremely independent type and am very confident that, while it won't be easy, I can still provide a very good life for my child without submitting to government regulations. I'm not looking down on anyone who does... It was the only way my parents could get by with seven kids... But I plan on living my life, and showing my children how to live outside of the "system". Health insurance and taxes aren't a concern... I know I'll pay cash for health services should they be needed, and I won't be relying on tax credits(though I know how helpful they can be. I'm also homeschooling my kids... As for higher education, it's a personal belief of mine that people should have a skill, not just a piece of paper stating general knowledge in a subject. I hope to direct my children to developing their skills, and making a life out of that.

State aid helped me out a lot with my first son when I was a young single mom, but it also hindered me in many ways. I didn't like having to jump through hoops and expose every detail of my life for groceries. Like I said, it helps many, but it's not for me.

No implications perceived, Bryony. I know what you're talking about, and while I don't associate with any particular group, I think that if the knowledge is there it shouldn't be avoided due to the nature of the people most likely to implement it. Take the good, leave the bad. Thanks though for the suggestion... I have some Libertarian resources I might just look into.
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#13 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 06:56 PM
 
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Okay, realizing that it all sounded a bit offputting, I deleted my entire post!

I've got 2 kids without bc, one with, and none of the 3 have ss. I dont' care about the tax money, don't do health insurance, or public school, nor am I that concerned about college or a future job for them. They can get a delayed bc if they need to later.



Kat

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#14 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 06:58 PM
 
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Well, I need a BC. Definetly!!!

I guess I will need it for the Army, just so I can register our child on deers and have health insurance for him and be able to take him on post. And then, I really really need one to get him a German passport. In Germany he will need a BC and I want my child to have a German passport. And of course, I want to go back home to Germany and live there and I want my child to grow up there. So I will need it. In Germany it would be illegal not to have one. I do not know how it is here, but why are you against having one?

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to attack you. I would not really care about that paperwork, but I know I will need it for the German passport, so I will have to get it. But what problems do you think you could get with having one? I am just curious.

Saskia
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#15 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 07:01 PM
 
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Why would you not want your child to have a birth certificate? How would that be a positive thing for you or them? I'm not being snarky here, I'm really curious about the concrete reasons behind this choice.
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#16 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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Why would you not want your child to have a birth certificate? How would that be a positive thing for you or them? I'm not being snarky here, I'm really curious about the concrete reasons behind this choice.

No one has ever given me any concrete reason why they really need to have one. The things I keep hearing are:

health insurance
tax money
school
future job

unless I have something more than those things, I'm not worrying myself over it anymore.

Kat

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#17 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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...add passport to that list.
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#18 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 07:23 PM
 
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http://studenttravel.about.com/od/pl...ertificate.htm

Nope, apparently you can get around it after all!

Kat

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#19 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 07:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajahkat View Post
Why would you not want your child to have a birth certificate? How would that be a positive thing for you or them? I'm not being snarky here, I'm really curious about the concrete reasons behind this choice.

No one has ever given me any concrete reason why they really need to have one. The things I keep hearing are:

health insurance
tax money
school
future job

unless I have something more than those things, I'm not worrying myself over it anymore.

Kat
Ok, I understand that you may not wish to avail yourself of those things. But you can have a bc and still live without health insurance, etc. What is the point of *not* having a bc? How would not having one make the way you choose to live any different or easier? What am I missing here?
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#20 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 07:35 PM
 
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I'm a little confused too about why you wouldn't want to get one -- but, it could be that where you live it just won't make a difference.

And as others have said, passports ... and I would add drivers' licenses to that. Every passenger on an airliner now has to have a form of ID and that inludes birth certificates for children. Don't know waht the age limit is though. I know my son has needed one since 2001 though. Of course, if you never fly then that's not an issue, but your child may want to drive one day.

As for school and future jobs, taxes and health insurance-- if you are not interested in those things, then that's one thing, but for a child's sake I think a parent ought to make them more easily available.

It seems that in saving yourself the hassle now you defer an even greater hassle onto your children at a later time.

Having said that, if you live in Montana or someplace exlcluded from the general population -- in which case I'm jealous -- then none of those things may ever be an issue.

I was trying to recall all the times I have needed a BC or SSNn for my kids:
~ All the things previously mentioned, of course.
~ Even the private schools require it
~ School and community sports (although I did think that was stupid)
~ My husband adopted my first son, so we needed the old one and new one was issued.
~ You need them to get legally married
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#21 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 07:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rajahkat View Post
http://studenttravel.about.com/od/pl...ertificate.htm

Nope, apparently you can get around it after all!

Kat
Wow! Thanks for the link, Kat.

I did my research on it 11 years ago when we started having children. The county, the state rep, state department, and all the b/c resistors I knew were emphatic there was no way to get a passport without one. I guess I should have waited until Ask.com before having kids.

~BV
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#22 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 07:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajahkat View Post
http://studenttravel.about.com/od/pl...ertificate.htm

Nope, apparently you can get around it after all!

Kat
d'oh!
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#23 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 08:03 PM
 
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I have flown at least 5 times with my son who was born in 2001 and he does not have a bc. I have never been asked for id for him. Though I do agree it would eventually become an issue.

You know, personally, I don't have any problem with having a bc. I'm not an anarchist or anything. Frankly, I'm not understanding what is so difficult to grasp about some people not wanting to be "on file" with their government. It makes perfect sense to me.

I'm not necessarily one of those people, but I don't think it's wierd that people deliberately, and thoughtfully choose to NOT file a bc. We are at a really wierd place in time right now.

That said, the reason my kids don't have them is because it was not easy for me to register my first sons birth. They insisted I must have a doctor or midwife "check out" my son. I refused. I don't allow anyone to handle my babies until 40 days after birth. And even then I'm not too keen on strangers, those with medical credentials or not. We were at a standstill. I let it slide (for quite a while, I admit!) Until just before his first birthday. When I went back, the ONE woman who could register the birth was "off" that day. So, I started the process of filing a delayed bc, when I ran into the info on getting a passport without one.

I dont' think it will be anymore difficult for my kids to file a delayed bc than it would be for me to do it now. So I prefer to leave it up to them and let them make the decision.

We DO plan to live in MT eventually

And having been "legally married" for 11 years, I think it's highly overrated, and intend on telling my children that. And no, I don't mean I don't like my husband. I mean our marriage certificate doesn't mean diddly when it comes to defining our relationship and whether we are happy/fulfilled/in love etc.

Kat

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#24 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 08:13 PM
 
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You know, personally, I don't have any problem with having a bc. I'm not an anarchist or anything. Frankly, I'm not understanding what is so difficult to grasp about some people not wanting to be "on file" with their government. It makes perfect sense to me Kat
Humor me here then, if you don't mind, because I honestly don't grasp it. What specific repercussions of having a birth certificate do you fear? It seems as though you view having a bc as a first step toward something really terrible potentially happening - but what?

eta: re-read your post and saw that the reasons you don't have bc for your kids don't really have to do with being on file with the government. But I'm still curious about the reasons why the "some people" you mention would avoid having one.
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#25 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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What specific repercussions of having a birth certificate do you fear?

I don't. I thought I made that clear.~

You know, personally, I don't have any problem with having a bc.

It seems as though you view having a bc as a first step toward something really terrible potentially happening - but what?

No. I just don't view it as necessary to my or my children's life right now. If that drastically changes, I'll probably make more of an effort to get them a bc. If not, then THEY can get one when it becomes necessary.

Kat

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#26 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 08:20 PM
 
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But I'm still curious about the reasons why the "some people" you mention would avoid having one.

You'll have to ask somebody else then

Kat

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#27 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 08:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajahkat View Post
http://studenttravel.about.com/od/pl...ertificate.htm

Nope, apparently you can get around it after all!

Kat

Not really. They say you need as many as possible of:

* Baptismal certificate
* Hospital birth certificate
* Census record
* Early school record
* Family bible record
* Doctor's record of post-natal care

well... I homebirth so no hospital record. Homeschool- no school record. Don't belong to an orgainzed religion- there goes baptism...

ETA- now I see the other form... but kind of a pain...

-Angela
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#28 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 08:23 PM
 
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And as others have said, passports ... and I would add drivers' licenses to that. Every passenger on an airliner now has to have a form of ID and that inludes birth certificates for children. Don't know waht the age limit is though. I know my son has needed one since 2001 though. Of course, if you never fly then that's not an issue, but your child may want to drive one day.
I fly with dd at least twice a year (so 4 airport encounters a year at least) never needed any ID on her. Never. I've always bought a seat for her- so didn't need to prove she was under 2.

I believe the current regs. require ID if over 14, 16 or 18, not sure which.

I wonder if it's possible to get state ID without a bc...

-Angela
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#29 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 08:27 PM
 
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And having been "legally married" for 11 years, I think it's highly overrated, and intend on telling my children that. And no, I don't mean I don't like my husband. I mean our marriage certificate doesn't mean diddly when it comes to defining our relationship and whether we are happy/fulfilled/in love etc.
rajahkat ~ that's about right!

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Humor me here then, if you don't mind, because I honestly don't grasp it. What specific repercussions of having a birth certificate do you fear? It seems as though you view having a bc as a first step toward something really terrible potentially happening - but what?
zinemama ~ I think it has much to do with not wanting children tracked by the government. Perhaps also with privacy. My children have BC's, but sometimes I revisit it in my mind from time to time. This is just a very small example, but awhile back I received a call from the county nurse (sounds kind of scary - COUNTY NURSE ) wanting to know if a certain child of mine had completed their "immunizations". I don't vax, and my children are unschooled, so it was interesting to me that she not only had one of my child's birthdates, but also my phone number. Turns out they were making calls to everyone in the county with a certain aged child, to see if they were up to date on their vaccines. The child of mine in question, was born here in MI and was in their database. A little disconcerting to me, and somewhat an invasion of our privacy.

All in all, the benefits of a BC outweighed the disadvantages for us, so we do have them, but I completely understand why some families do not.

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#30 of 218 Old 06-14-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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"* Baptismal certificate
* Hospital birth certificate
* Census record
* Early school record
* Family bible record
* Doctor's record of post-natal care"

I doubt the baptismal certificate or the family bible record are any good either. It's the same outdated stuff they say you can use to file a delayed bc. You CAN"T though. They are only examples anyway.

I wonder what they would say if you wrote directly to the passport office with this list and checked them off, one by one, I don't have this because....., I dont' have this because...., and asked them what they could accept instead.

I tried that with my state vs office when filing for a delayed bc. She basically said, okay, let me send you some information in the mail. And sent me THE SAME stuff. So basically she had no help for me.

I do have a letter of no record for my eldest.

If I ever get around to filing for a passport, I'll let you guys know how it goes!

Kat

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