No Original Birth Certificate? No Passport! The National Security State Begns to Flush our Right to…Everthing

The birth certificate is the most political and politicized public document issued by a government entity in the United States today. It is the “breeder document” that generates all other government and private documents of identity and entitlement. Since the government has positioned itself as the arbiter and creator of identity, bestowing upon each of us the legitimacy of our existence, we cannot function in a “normal” way for long without it. What were once  routine activities everyone could enjoy, are now mediated by a piece of government paper issued to us its discretion..

For instance, without a government-approved birth certificate or documents engendered by it, a child can’t enter school, attend camp, or even play Little League; adults can’t marry, acquire security clearances, collect private and government pensions, access government programs, open a bank account, acquire employment, rent an apartment or buy a home, fly to Seattle or Fort Worth, enter certain public and private buildings, or legally drive a car. And certainly one cannot travel internationally, even to the once easily accessibly Canada and Mexico, without a passport or pass, which cannot be acquired without …a birth certificate.
Starting April 1, 2011, the US Department of State changed passport application regulations, making it more difficult to get one. (Please go to the link above for more details; those renewing a passport have it a little easier, but here are the general rules):
Passport applicants are required to present a certified birth certificate, the primary evidence of US citizenship.
The birth certificate must contain the full name of the applicant,  the full name of the applicant’s parent(s), date of birth, place of birth, raised seal, Registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the state Registrar’s office. Except for the raised seal, these regulations endanger the ability of some adoptees to access a passport–and as the escalating National Security State war against the American people continues, keep passports (and other government “services”) out of the hands of Class Bastard all together.

The unkept bastard–that is, the adoptee–is in the unique situation of being issued, (with some exceptions), by state law, an allegedly legal, but fictive birth certificate containing government-created false information including new names for child and parents, and depending on state practice and/or date of adoption, false birth date and place of birth for both parent and child.  While these fictions are important and bode serious consequences to bastards, of most concern to bastards right now, imo, is the codification of what has for some time, been documented practice, the rejection of passport applications due to late filing with the Registrar. The late filing, of course, is due to the adoption itself,  which the state hides,

Many amended birth certificates (ABCs) are “delayed filings” since, at least in the old days, an adoption could take more than a year to finalize; thus, a legal and permanent ABC could not be issued until an infant was a year or more older. (How this effects those adopted when older or out of fostercare, I have no idea). Moreover, some ABCs do not contain a Registrar’s signature, only the name typed in. (I have two copies of my Ohio OBC , one from the state and the other from the county. The county cert is completely hand-written, and signed by the Registrar, and filed correctly; the State cert has a slightly different filing date and a typed “signature,” My ABC contains the date of the OBC filing found on the hand-written cert, but the registrar’s “signature” is typed.)
A birth certificate filed more than a year after the birth of a child is red flag for bulls in their passport office cubicles and your invitation to cancel your vacation to Brazil.


DOS has come up with some relief for those unfortunate enough to have a late filing date or other irregularity on their government generated and issued certificate of existence: secondary evidence of US citizenship, generated by documents “generally not more than 5 years after birth.” While these documents could be difficult for anyone to access, they are particularly difficult, if not impossible for Class Bastard to acquire, since the acquisition of most of these secondary papers would be a violation of state adoption laws and medical confidentiality laws, such as the federal HIPAA.
Please hold your laughter to the end of this No-You-Can’t-Have-That-Because-You’re Adopted list. 
Early Public Records:
  • Baptismal certificate
  • Hospital birth certificate
  • Census record (The 1930 Census is the last publicly available census).
  • Early school record
  • Family Bible record
  • Doctor’s record of post-natal care.
Delayed birth certificates 
You can submit a Delayed US Birth Certificate filed more than one year after birth, which MAY be acceptable IF:
It lists the documentation used to create it (preferably from public records)
It is signed by the birth attendant or lists an affidavit signed by the parents.
If all this fails, try the:
Birth Affidavit
You can present IN PERSON, a birth affidavit (Form DS-10,) It must be:
  • notarized and submitted with early public records;
  • completed by an affiant who has personal knowledge of birth in the US
  • Must state briefly how the affiant’s knowledge was acquired
  • Should be completed by an older blood relative.
Oh wait, we’re not done yet. If no older blood relative is available, it may be completed by the ATTENDING PHYSICIAN or any other person who has personal knowledge of your birth.
And, in case you’re wondering, these documents are not sufficient proof of secondary evidence:
  • voter registration card
  • Army discharge papers
  • Social Security card
Apparently nowadays, the government wants to hire you to kill people in far away countries only if you can prove US citizenship with appropriate documents. . Christina Crawford told me that her brother Christopher, a Viet Nam War vet, was denied a passport years later due to his hinky adoptive status.


The Department of State has proposed a new bizarre Biographical Questionnaire  (Proposed Form DS 5513) for “some passport applicants.” No criteria has been set yet for who those “some” are, but we can guess who State might include. According to Consumer Traveler, State is already using a version of this form without required OMB approval.
The new form will require “some” applicants to submit:
  • the full name, place of birth, date of birth, and citizenship status of your parents, step parents, siblings, and step siblings.
  • your mother’s residence one year before your birth; her residence at the time of your birth; and her residence a year after your birth.
  • your mother’s place of employment at the time of your birth; her dates of employment, name and address of employer. (Apparently, no one cares what your old man was up to.)
  • mother’s re-natal or post-natal medial care; name of doctor and dates of appointments.
  • the circumstances of your birth (whatever that means), including the names, addresses and phone numbers, if available of those present or in attendance at your birth.
  • religious or institutional records regarding your birth or events surrounding it (ex: baptism or circumcision)
  • a list of all of your places of residence, and dates of residence from birth to present
  • a list of all employers, address, dates employed, name of supervisor, and phone number
  • all schools attended, addresses and dates of school attendance

Failure to reply “correctly” with any of these absurd questions, even with an “I don’t know” can  mean a rejected application (what’s a little more  rejection for adoptees?). What the dates of your mother’s doctor’s appointments or proof of your circumcision (hehheh)  or who you mowed grass for 30 years ago has to do with your passport passport  isn’t addresses. What the state wants you to do is data mine yourself for its files.

Laughably, in its submitted Statement of Support, the people at State who dreamed this up, claim that it will only take 45 minutes for applicants to gather up this information.The Identity Project,, which opposes the regs , points out realistically, that  the applicant would be forced to spend 100 hours or more on the ap, and even then could not document all the information required.  The complete  Identity Project Comment  (linked above), which also was submitted under the joint signatures of The Consumer Travel Alliance, the Center for Privacy and Human Rights, and several other organizations and individuals,  is a detailed analysis and demolition of Proposed Forum DS 5513, and I urge you to read it and bookmark it.I follow passport and ID news, but I’m not sure how I missed this absurd proposal until it was too late for Bastard Nation to submit comments,  The Identity Project,  in  its comments, though, did include adoptees  as a group that would be seriously harmed if these regs are implemented. Unfortunately, the comments did not address OBC and adoption decree access, but did put State on warming:Certain groups would be even less likely than the norm to have any chance of completing the proposed form. Adoptees who aren’t in touch with their birth parents would have no chance of being able to provide the required information about their mother’s residence, pre-natal medical appointments, or the circumstances of their birth.


Of course, the State Department is performing more Security Theatre of the Absurd.  Proposed Form DS 5513 (not to mention already-in-place adoptee-impossible identify regs), is the paper version of the naked body scanner and genital squeeze. One strips you of your clothing and dignity,  the other of  your right to travel internationally. .Both are meant to create the compliant citizen who is only too happy to sacrifice rights for the vague promise of security from something.. Today it’s your passport…tomorrow. it’s your…

Birth certificates as we know them today, are a product of the Progressive Era eugenics movement in the United States. Since their federal mandate a little over a hundred years ago, birth certificates, in the hands of the state have been used to eugenically erase/create/re-create racial, national, social, and family identity. They have been a tool to segregate races, control who marries whom, determine mental inadequacy, and hide children and parents from each other. See, Edwin Black’s award wining epic account of eugenics:  War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s campaign to create a master race. While Black doesn’t address adoption in his book, he includes several pages on Virgina’s first Registrar of Vital Records, Walter Ashby Plecker and his manipulation of birth certificate data to erase and re-classify the racial identity of thousands of Virginians.against their will and sometimes without their knowledge.  Plecker was probably involved in all sorts of adoption shenanigans that we don’t know about;  but we do know that he once attempted to remove a set of twins from a Presbyterian orphanage because they were illegitimate and, therefore, the “chances are 10-1 they are of negro blood.” (A 2-part article from the Virginian-Pilot here and here, is a good place to start with Plecker.) The important connection between eugenics, adoption. and sealed records has been all but neglected.  I wish I had  time to delve into it.

About 15 years ago, a member of the Washington State ACLU Privacy Project told Bastard Nation that no one over the age of 18 needed a birth certificate. If a bill were introduced to seal the birth certificates of everybody, it would probably. support the measure.The email was sent several years before the events of 9/11 authorized the US government to wage its war on the American people and was clearly a snarky response to BN’s criticism of its opposition to OBC access. The message was clear, though: the state can do what it wants with your identity and your documents.

Since then, we have seen the government’s secret non-consensual acquisition  of the public’s DNA, the creation  of corporate DNA patents  (and brand new story here) without the permission of the DNA owners (you and me), and a tightening of the public’s access to local, state, and federal documents  and meetings, all under the veil of “security” and “privacy..”  Everyone’s  identities and information, are under the control of the corporate state, which professes to be instituting these illegal and unconstitutional acts for our own good. .Hidden histories, impounded and sealed records,  bodily disenfranchisement once limited to lab ratted bastards, will soon be the norm for everyone. Rigid, nonsensical; (to us, but very sensical to  the state)  passport rules are part of the deal.  They’re testing the waters this time, will back off a little bit, and let the frogs boil..

I regret I haven’t kept better records on the nightmare stories I’ve heard, particularity from adoptees, regarding their records and corpo mediation and control of them.  A campus Young Republican couldn’t get  his driver’s license due to “irregularities in his ABC.  An EMT, with neither an OBC or an ABC, denied certification because his adoption involved three states; each state, “destroying”  his paperwork because they thought the other state had it.  An Army lifer and later civilian contractor, with security clearances from both jobs,  denied Social Security because his birth certificate didn’t trail back like it should.  The continuing number of adoptees denied passports. Years ago, Bastard Nation-co-founder Shea Grimm, who had traveled  internationally under an aparent passport as a child, was denied a big people’s passport when she became an adult (though she finally did get it).  Lately,  stories of adoptees denied are growing. To make it more interesting, I heard casually,  and don’t have verification, that some states, get around this problem, by backdating the ABCs to make it coincide with new passport regulations.  That is, ANOTHER fake document is created on top of the old fake document.,  The lies never end.

Last I heard, the original Real ID law–the national ID card law– was in big trouble because states just couldn’t or wouldn’t implement it. In its stead other  less expensive laws or less draconian parts of Real ID were being implemented or cajoled.. Whatever is going on isn’t good for the American people and especially Class Bastard.

A couple years ago Bastard Nation began to implement  what I call “Real ID language” into our legislative testimony, pointing out possible consequences of continued sealed records on adoptees: that go beyond the traditional rights infringement.

Tacking this year’s birther idiocy for instance, we included this in our submitted testimony against Indiana SB 114:

Adopted adults, especially since 9/11, are increasingly denied passports, drivers licenses, pensions, Social Security benefits, professional certifications, and security clearances due discrepancies on their amended birth certificates, and their inability to produce an original birth certificate to answer the problems. Indiana is one of 11 states currently considering a law to require presidential and vice-presidential candidates to present proof of citizenship through birth certificates. Indiana’s proposal, SB 114, sponsored by Sen. Mike Delph and currently in the Elections Committee, requires that “a certified copy of each nominee’s birth certificate, including any other documentation necessary to establish that the nominees qualifications” to appear on the ballot.

Next year we’ll beef it up.

No one lobbying for the restoration of adoptee rights to OBC access can afford to dismiss draconian federal mandates and penalties due to “irregular” birth certificates.. While we correctly argue the restoration of the right to access our original birth certificates as a stand-alone right–and should continue to do so– we must also argue that the lack of the obc creates all kinds of scenarios for government abuse and the loss of more of our rights and privileges. Lose one right and lose them all.

The birth certificate is the breeder document of all other documents of identification.Without a “correct” birth certificate, all other rights and privileges are in limbo. Bad BC?  Sorry, no driver’s license, no Social Security, no bank account.  We’re down to the wire on this.  It’s no longer a matter of one right–but every right. For us the OBC is the breeder document

11 Replies to “No Original Birth Certificate? No Passport! The National Security State Begns to Flush our Right to…Everthing”

  1. Marley – You can get your census record even if the census is not publicly available.

    Of course, there’s a 50/50 chance that it won’t be within 5 years of your birth. I’m sure for the poor bastards unlucky enough to be born just before the census and not yet ensconced in their “forever” homes, some explanation may be required as to why there is no record of them living in the US at that time. Even more fun if they don’t know they’re adopted.

    I know at least one person who DID request and receive an ABC with the filing date “reset” to a more passport friendly one.

    I also know the story of a Michigan-born adoptee who had been living in Cabo San Lucas when the passport rules changed. She and her boyfriend applied for US passports at the US Consulate. He got his. Hers was delayed for several MONTHS because she couldn’t explain, to their satisfaction, some “discrepancy” in her Michigan ABC. She had to contact her US Rep in California in order to be “allowed” back into the US.

  2. Gaye is correct regarding some states issuing a newly-falsified ABC to skirt this issue. After much complaining I received one from Michigan dated about a hundred days after my birth, when I was still in foster care and not yet available for adoption (they used to hold bastards for six months to be sure they were healthy). It lists my yet-to-be parents has having given birth to me.

  3. My Birth Certificate has no mother listed because I was adopted by a single parent (Father). According to the Passport people, the certificate is invalid because of this discrepancy. I have the falsified Birth Certificate with the compliant filing date and my birth certificate is still garbage. If you can get an “Adoption Certificate” or an “Adoption Order” it might help your passport situation, at least here in N.Y. This is complete discrimination against adoptees and single adoptive parents. A single Mother on a Birth Certificate is acceptable but a single Father is not. I’m basically a second class citizen who has to show my “adoption papers” to validate my falsified Birth Certificate.

    P.S. If your Original Birth Certificate is not in your adopted name it’s worthless.

  4. I was not adopted but I may as well have been, my parents are part of a religious polygamist group *cough*CULT*cough* and in all there were ten of us that were born at home with no legal documentation whatsoever. As soon as I came to the age of 15 I realized it was more than a problem.

    Just after turning 15 I began applying for my birth certificate, which took me 7 years of constant searching for any type of document on myself and countless denial letters. I was 22 when I finally was able to obtain a Delayed Birth Certificate, which felt like such a blessing at the time. I was then on to applying for my social security number, after learning it was almost as much of a process as the birth certificate I was discouraged but still willing to work for it. I was able to get that within a few months(only denied twice).

    Then it was on to my passport. I had a trip to Mexico paid for, and coming up so I applied for my passport. Never seen such a difficult process in all of my life. It was denied after I provided everything I could think of as proof as to who I am. I was informed I had nowhere near enough documentation to support a ‘DELAYED’ birth certificate(although it holds the state seal and correct signatures).

    I was asked for my mothers birth certificate, which she used to hold a physical copy of and has since been lost in the system somehow. We applied for a new one for her in AZ where she was born and they had no record of her, since we lived in a town on the border we applied with UT just to be sure they didnt have a copy either. They didnt. The Social Security Administration asked for records on me for every year i’ve been alive and for the same for my mother. Impossible! She had always been a stay at home mom and we had no records at all. Went to a homeschool without records. Never visited a dentist or doctor. She didnt exist and we may as well have no identifying documents either for how they treated us. They also recommended I pay the expediting fee to get it by the date on my plane ticket. I paid it with high hopes. Hopes that were soon to be the same feelings I have felt for years, Disappointment yet again. I attempted one more time after that. I sent them a big box of EVERYTHING I could find with my name on it. Picture, letters, notarized letters from 50+ people who know me, any and every piece of paper I could find.

    DENIED! yet again. I gave up. They had sent me a denial letter saying there is no way it would be possible without a few specific documents that did not exist. I got the letter and was waiting for my box of information to be mailed back to me. It was about 6-7 months before I got the box back. While I was visiting my mom’s house a few months later I was looking at the mail and there was something there with my name on it. I opended it not thinking anything of it. My passport was inside!!!! The approval date was even later than the final denial letter they had sent me. It was more than a month after they said it was not possible that it was approved. I had not spoken to them at all between those times.

    Biggest shock of my life!!!

    I am pleased to have it now but I would not wish any of that on my worst enemy! I have since gotten a very small amount of the documentation for my younger siblings sorted out. Here goes this process 3 more times…..

  5. Thanks so much for posting your story, Jess.

    It’s important for people to know that adoptees are not the only group of people affected by these ridiculous laws and proposals. People born to US nationals in foreign countries, those born in border towns and counties, born through midwives, older people (especially pre 1945 or so), and of course, people in your bizarre situation. There are also people whose BCs just can’t be found. I have a couple cases I’m working on in Ohio where the birth certificate is listed in the birth index but three is no such cert in the files of either in Columbus or their city/couty of birth. And I’m ‘not talking about sealed obcs.

    Would you mind if I made you a guest blogger and published your whole story so people can read it now; otherwise it’s just lost in comments. Thanks.

  6. I got a letter from the passport office today telling me that: Thank you for recent passport application. the evidence of your birth occurred, and the US citizenship or nationality you submitted is not acceptable for passport purposes for the following reason: the certificate shows that your birth was recorded more than one year after your birth occurred, and the evidence used to create the delayed birth record is not sufficient. and they go on to say please submit a certified birth certificate, for the birth certificate to be acceptable, is must—–
    1 be issued by the office of vital statistics of the state, county, or city where your birth occurred
    2 show your full name at birth
    3 indicate your date and place of birth
    4 list the full names of your parents
    5 bear the embossed, impressed, mutli-colored, or raised seal and signature of the issuing authority, and indicate a registration or file date that is within one year of your birth.

    I wrote back saying—To whom it may concern; I’m so totally confused, Basically why would I need and delayed certificate of birth if I had a birth certificate within one year of my birth, I called and the passport lady customer services department and was also confused. It is not my fault that my parents were so irresponsible, but they were native Americans and did not trust the U.S. government.
    I was born in the back seat of a car on the Fort Apache Reservation, I have contacted the reservation but they only record births of tribal members.
    I was born 6 weeks early and my parents ‘thought that I would die so the a priest came to baptized me, I have contacted the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup but because the baptism happen so long ago and the speed of which it was done that they no longer have these records, but I do have my mother’s family bible showing my birth.
    My mother was born on the Big Cypress Reservation in Florida on 6/6/1940 and had ran off with my father at 14 years of age. My father was born in the Alberta Canada in the Northwest Territories on 5/15/1923, both of my parents were Native American. My father had me home schooled because we never stayed in one place long.
    I became pregnant at 19 years old and was kick out of the house and all communication was cut off, I have tried for years to locate them but to no avail, I have not seen or heard from them in 39 years and I doubt that they are alive
    I have scan and sending copies from my mother’s family bible and I’m sending you certified copies of my children’s birth certificates as well, So please send them back when you no longer need them.——-
    this is not right the way they (passport office) treat people who have no control of what their parents do or do not do. if there is help for people in my situation please help. I live day by day and I 59 years old. please help

  7. can you tell me the address of the Roman Catholic Diocese of New York, responsible for the
    lobbying efforts, AGAINST the NYS ‘Bill of Adoptee Rights’ Bill: aka SO2490A & A00909?
    The address of ‘their’ lobbyists would help help. Thank-you. rems

  8. Heard from somebody else today. She agrees that you need to contact your Congress person. Then, get whatever you need and then ask him/her to get the expedition fees waived. You should be able to expedite it if you gets the right people involved. It usually costs a fortune, but they may waive it in this case.

  9. My original answer to you has gone astray. I went through my entire spam catcher tonight and can’t find it. Anyway, the best advice I can give, which I did in my original, is to contact constitutent services in your local US Rep or Senator’s office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *