July 6, 2015
My aunt has been living in the United States for decades now. She helped me and my cousins through college and helped my sister come to the US as well.
Last year, my aunt suddenly decided to try to file a petition for her siblings to come live with her in the US. It was such a marvelous idea my cousins sprang up to apply for their parents’ passports. But the promising world came crashing down on them when they learned their parents have no birth certificates.
Well, how did it happen that two old men near their sixties don’t have any proof of their birth?
It seems like, during that time, women usually gave birth at home and not in hospitals. As soon as the baby came out, the local midwife would ask a neighbor who was going to town to ‘have’ the baby registered at the municipal hall. Now, if this neighbor was not able to do it because he had his hands full of errands and forgot to mention the little detail to the mother, the truth would stay undiscovered until such time as this, getting a passport.
Quite common but undeniably annoying, this is an issue that we can only solve by late registration.
To avoid such inconvenience, I got copies of my children’s birth certificates early on to make sure there was no mistake in names, birthdates, names of parents and so on. Because it may sound funny if it happens to other people but seriously inconvenient when it happens to you..