Sunday, December 9, 2012

Just A Piece of Paper

Who knew that one piece of paper could hold up so much.  I have gotten by my whole adult life with just one official copy of my birth certificate.  In fact my parents took so long in filing my birth certificate for my home birth that when I requested an additional copy so that I could apply for an updated passport the state of Wisconsin told me I could not obtain an official copy of my birth certificate a few years back.  In order to get an official copy I had to provide a baptism record (I was raised Quaker- no baptism), a birth certificate (haha funny), or hospital record (remember I was home birthed- so haha).  So you would think that I'd have some idea that this one piece of paper could hold up so much.

We finalized at the end of August but we STILL do not have an amended birth certificate.  So despite fighting to get a copy of her original piece of paper (aka birth certificate) we still cannot get her a new social security # (she has one- I just can't know it), we cannot get her a passport, we cannot open a bank account, and I just learned the other day we cannot get a life time hunting/finish license for our state.  I'm frustrated.

So our agency found out the week of Sandy that PA had changed their requirements and thus they had not sent all the required paper work for an amended birth certificate to be created.  So Sandy hit and Phili was busy with Sandy after math (I have sympathy and know the birth certificate is not #1 however the process started two months BEFORE Sandy).  So the courts are backed up in Phili and so now we wait.  It could be mid-January before we get a birth certificate (because they get 12 weeks to provide us with an amended birth certificate assuming the paper work is right this time).  

I've looked into ways to circumvent the need for a birth certificate for after all its just a piece of paper and when I get frustrated I usually crusade.  For the passport I'd need an affidavit from someone that can verify her birth along with a baptismal record (which we have but doesn't have a place of birth on it which the passport site indicates it needs) or birth certificate (haha).  So passport is a likely no- go.  Social Security # I maybe able to get as it states in "some cases" they will accept an official final adoption decree which DH is going to get three copies of tomorrow (we probably should have an official copy of that anyway).  Hunting/Fishing license there is no alternative.  Bank account I need the social security # to open an account.

The funny things is I have not fished since middle school and my husband has maybe purchased a fishing license twice in the past 8 years I've known him.  Its the hunting/fishing license that gets me the most (well maybe the passport and social security number and bank account bother me a lot too).  In our state once a child turns 1 the rate doubles from $150 to $300 for a life time license.  My DH is 4th generation born in the state we reside and it holds some clout.  My dear daughter wont get a birth certificate that honors her being 5th generation.  The hunting/fishing license is as close as she will ever get to being truly from this state (flat landers like myself will be outsiders no matter how long they live here).  Part of me wants to write the Fishing and Wildlife department with our story and I'm sure we can work something out; however it also means I have to reveal her adoption story to a stranger that has no right to her story.

So no trip to the zoo in Canada in our near future.  Possibly no life time/hunting fishing license for our little girl (she likely would only fish but who knows I dont want to hold her back).  We still cannot deposit her checks addressed to her from her baby showers.  

I just feel stuck- like I still not 100% her mom yet.  Just because of a stupid piece of paper.