by Danielle M. Rosenberg on Jun 13, 2018 Birth Certificate
For that reason, the birth certificate becomes the first object most people own. Bound up in official identity and personal relationships, its stakes are high. Doubting the accuracy or provenance of a birth certificate can cause shock waves that ripple out to years or even decades later. The "birther" conspiracy during Barack Obama's first presidential candidacy is a notable example. Donald Trump and others claimed that Barack Obama hadn't been born in the United States and thus was ineligible for the presidency. The birth certificate is a battleground for debates about parentage, gender, identity, and governmental responsibility.
Whatever the future holds for birth certificates, it's clear that they'll continue to matter not just for administrative purposes, but for emotional reasons, too. As Schinderman puts it, "even though the birth certificate is just a piece of paper, it is my piece of paper."