by Danny S. Yoder on Jun 13, 2018 Uncategorized
The legal skirmishes over who should be able to see a birth certificate, and what information it should contain, seem likely to amplify rather than diminish. As technology improves and legal frameworks for parenting continue to evolve, new controversies are bound to play out over birth certificates new and old. Will sperm donors, egg donors, surrogates, and others be reflected? Will these documents allow for more than three people to be named as parents? Will increasingly sophisticated biometrics be embedded into them?
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.