by Frank M. Groves on Jun 13, 2018 Uncategorized
There are also practical barriers. Many countries lack the technology or capacity to register each birth, even if doing so is mandated by law. And some countries only register babies born to married parents. Even if they want to register, some parents might not be able to if they cannot afford to travel to a location where births are registered or if they cannot cover the cost of issuing the certificate itself. There are also concerns that governments will misuse registration records eventually, whether for prejudicial policy, compulsory military service, or even ethnic cleansing. In the Soviet Union, "Jewish" was one of the 69 nationality options on birth certificates. Designating Soviet citizens as Jewish enabled discrimination against them, such as by limiting which colleges they could attend.
A recent controversy over birth certificates in Arkansas demonstrates that these slips of paper are imbued with political and social meaning. In 2015, a married couple, Marisa and Terrah Pavan, had their first child, who was conceived through sperm donation. The Arkansas Department of Health, or ADH, listed only Terrah, who gave birth to their daughter, on the baby's birth certificate. This was contrary to state law, under which the spouse of the birth mother also is automatically listed.