The Marital Presumption and Finding a Second Parent For A Newborn

This is going to just be a short post to tie a couple of threads together.   Yesterday I blogged about the marital presumption, using a recent MI case as my example.   A few weeks ago I blogged about the problem of finding two legal parents for a newborn child.  (That’s a particular problem for me, as the post I linked to and an earlier one explain.).

Anyway, it occurred to me that it was worth noting that the marital presumption is the way we generally solve the problem of finding a second legal parent for a newborn.   One parent is the woman who gives birth and the second is her spouse–until recently her husband, but now in some states potentially her wife.   Without this presumption it wouldn’t just be me wrestling with the question of how to identify a second legal parent for a newborn.

Now I know that some people will be jumping up and down saying that the answer is to do DNA testing on all newborns.   But, as I said, I’m pretty sure no state does that.  In fact, I don’t think any state has ever even come close to doing that.   So while it is a theoretical solution (not one I like, mind you) it isn’t a practical one.

I wanted to make this point because I think it is easy to think that the marital presumption is something odd and archaic, dating from an earlier time.  Some may say it is archaic,  but it is doing absolutely critical work in our current legal system.   Without it, we’d need some other way of finding a second legal parent for a lot of newborns.   Not saying we shouldn’t have some other way to do that, by the way.   Just offering the observation.

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160 responses to “The Marital Presumption and Finding a Second Parent For A Newborn

  1. DNA testing on all newborns? I would never allow the state to collect my child’s DNA. Heck, I’m still horrified that the Supreme Court allowed the police to collect DNA from people simply arrested (not convicted) on a felony charge. Allow the state access to my child’s DNA? No way. Not without a warrant.

    • OK well what if we made both people claiming to be the child’s parents sign a voluntary declaration of either maternity or paternity as we currently do for unmarried men? There is already a model to be followed that explicitly outlines that the statement must be biologically accurate for health and medical purposes because its a vital record. And the form could offer a dna test to confirm as a prerequisite for certification by the state as a vital record. If people verify their maternity or paternity without agreeing to have it confirmed by a test then the form won’t ever become a certificate treated as a vital record and it will not be used by CDC for statistical purposes and the person who the certificate would know that the record was not valid as a health record even though the people claiming to be their parents were making a claim of either maternity or paternity.

      If they are not making a claim of maternity or paternity they should be adopting. There is a form for that as well already in use. None of this is radical. Its rules and procedures already being followed by the majority of people with offspring and those without as well.

      • the problem is “voluntary”. what if the people don’t want to sign.

        • State that they declined the test right on the record and don’t certify it as a vital record because CDC can’t trust its biologcically accurate and neither can the individual its issued to even though they signed the voluntary admission of maternity or paternity in order to be named parent. They need to state clearly this is my offspring to even get the legal parenthood we need to go the extra mile and withhold certification if they are not willing to actually prove that their claims are valid for medical purposes.

          Paternity and maternity are already biological terms. Also the voluntary admissions of paternity and maternity ought to include a warning that the birth record will be corrected if it is discovered not to be biologically true at some point in the future. There are legal procedures for becoming the legal parent of someone else’s offspring that really should be followed for everyone’s protection. Short cutting those steps means that people are not protected and it comes at a tremendous expense to the person who stands to loose their family their heritage their parent’s support kinship medically accurate birth records. There is no reason why we should not always have the expectation that people with offspring loose their right to privacy loose their right to have their wants needs and desires come first. When you have offspring nobody cares about what you want or need or feel like anymore. It’s no longer about you and your wants – your job is to meet the needs of the child you made, end stop.

          • Paternity and maternity are not exclusively biological and genetic terms. They are also legal terms. In the same way birth certificates–the ones issued by the states–are not medical documents but rather legal documents. IF you had a system where legal parentage was established by genetics THEN testing would perhaps make sense (though it would still be extremely controversial, I think.) But since we do not have that system and since birth certificates are not expected to reflect genetic parentage, it doesn’t make sense.

            I’m not saying it couldn’t be reorganized as you suggest. But it wouldn’t make any sense to just change the one thing. You’re talking about revamping the legal rules governing parentage. Perhaps we need to do that–I know you think we do. But that’s back to the main question of what the rules should be, I think.

            • Julie I have posted links and content from federal guidelines for state birth certificates and all the links to the reasoning behind the collection of that information and that states must comply with the guidelines in order to receive federal funding. If I post this information again will you do me the favor of reading it and then seeing if you are still able to in good conscience state that the information is not collected for the purpose of gatherin vital health information on citizens who are reproduucing and their offspring?
              Because I’m not saying that certificates are not also used for identification and legal purposes, it is not that I disagree with you but State’s don’t really certify the birth record unless they are reasonably convinced that it is medically accurate there is a burden of proof that is not entirely scientific and often their presumptions are false based upon deliberate or unintentional mistatements of fact by parents or people claiming to be parents. There is reams of evidence to prove that very frequently the individuals named turn out not to be the bio parents and rarely if ever do does the state correct the records. Finding out why they don’t correct false presumptions all the time when they are informed about it is the chief reason I set out to learn about the laws that I saw as so unjust. You have educated me and provided me with access to information so that I could read and learn more about the inconsistencies thank you. But in all that reading one thing has become absolutely crystal clear the content of the birth record is expected to be biologically accurate as the basis for the certification because the information is a vital record of public health, and they don’t send amended birth records to the CDC because the information on them is bunk for vital record purposes. It’s useless for it’s intended purpose which is why the CDC does not want it and why Adopted people refer to their amended certificates as fake because they really are not the vital records used for statistical purposes. There is a margin of error assumed for paternity fraud but the inaccuracies now must be staggering they make the collection of information at birth for vital records and statistical purposes basically pointless. We might as well just have people fill out their own pink slips and transfers of title if there is no common understanding that the person is the offspring of the people named as parents. What is the point of even having it certified at all really if some of the information has no basis in fact. You can say that paternity is also a legal term, yes it is and in fact in my state positive paternity is proven and disproven with dna evidence and the biological father is the father. They seem to overlook it if it’s later found to have been a false presumption especially if the kid would loose a source of support but they won’t just walk up to an unmarried man whose never met the kid who happend to be sleeping with the mom, they won’t name him father without a positive genetic test proving paternity so it means biological parent. If I go get you the links will you read it or will you just continue to tell me that birth records are not intended to record medically accurate information for statistical purposes.

      • I assume you mean a certificate of genetic maternity/paternity? To what end? We know that sometimes the woman who gives birth (a legal parent) is not the genetic mother and is not intended to be the legal mother. The problem to solve is identifying is LEGAL parents at birth. I know you would solve that by relying on genetics to identify the legal parents. And we’d still have the problem of no knowing if the man is the genetic parent whether he signs something that says he is or not.

        • require a sworn statement that the kid is their offspring in order to even get their names on the record and offer them a test to confirm it and if they decline don’t certify the birth record. At least the person who the certificate is issued to will see that although their parents claim they are their offspring, they refused to prove it and because of that their certificate is not a medical record or a vital record for health purposes. We won’t waste money and resources putting bad information into the system for people who won’t prove maternity or paternity.

        • You know to what end Julie. It is a health record. Look at the content requirements for state birth records dictated by the CDC. I’ve gone through this a million times with you, you must be bored by now but you can’t pretend that it already currently is designed to serve that purpose. I’m not talking about a new or novel use or purpose I’m talking about the existing content of the certificate is written by/dictated by governed by a federal agency that is trying to keep track of the health of people who are reproducing and the health of their offspring. We the people have created a real mess by having laws like the UPA that say sometimes people with offspring don’t have to be identified as the parents of their offspring. We don’t need to change the birth certificate from what it is and turn it into something that it is not currently. We just need to not certify the record as a vital record as a health record unless we put the claims of people who say their parents to the test.

          • A birth certificate issued by the state of Washington is NOT a health record. It is a legal document that identifies the legal parents of a child. That’s why you get a new one when you adopt. There are also records collected by the CDC and various other things. And they may be different. And you may identify places where we should highlight things. I notice now, for example, that questions about family history at my doctor’s are always predicated with “genetically related”. I don’t think they used to be. That makes total sense to me. But the law doesn’t need that–at least the way it is structured now.

            • http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/birth-certificate

              Julie is correct. A birth certificate in terms of parents listed on it the purpose is to identify parentage for legal not health reasons. It has nothing to do with health records. Now other organizations may use it to collect data as a resource but it’s a legal document not a health document.

            • So no point in my collecting the links for you? You won’t read where it says its a vital record vital statistics Department of Public Health? The content of the certificate, every line on the form that every state fills out in the uniform system is dictated by the Center for Disease Control that part of the Department of Health Services.

              The content of the certificate is not dictated by the department of Legal Parental Status. Will you read it or are you just going to stone wall and refuse to talk about some of these facts that are at odds with what states are doing when they issue amended ones or when people give biologically incorrect information and its allowed to go uncorrected. I’m not saying that does not happen but I am saying when it does that deviating information is operating at odds with the whole reason for collecting it in the first place. We really do need a tight definition of what information gets to go on there and who decides what the truth is because again is there a base line for the term fact? If the whole of the world agrees to various systems of weights and measures and a kid weighs 8 lbs according to that system would it be wrong to write down 10 lbs in order to win the betting pool on which lady would have the biggest baby? What difference does it make really? And in the long run does it become the truth because it was written down and certified? Would it now be wrong to assert weight as it was read on the scale? We can get really existential about this but when the Department of Public health is dictating the content of the birth certificate form and it makes states be reasonably certain the info is correct before certifying it and then it takes those records and does medical research based on the understanding those children are biologically related cause they were not adopted and the certificates …..where are they filed Julie? In what department of your local county government will you be able to obtain birth marriage and deth certificates? Not the tax assessors office, not the controller or the child welfare department – birth records marriage records and death records are obtained from the

              DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

              • I know this isn’t satisfying but when I say “a birth certificate” I mean the certificate that I am given by the state that records the birth of my children and lists me as a parent. That’s not a health record. It’s a document I have to present to get a passport, to register a child for school and to register a child for soccer.

                This is not to say that other information isn’t collected and that there aren’t other things (which some may call birth certificates or birth records) that have more to do with health stuff. I know the CDC collects data/info and so does the state of WA. And that stuff isn’t amended when an adoption is completed, which makes total sense, right?
                But the nice little piece of paper I have that I think has the heading “Certificate of Live Birth?” That’s not prepared for medical purposes and at least some of what it records (who the parents are) reflects legal judgments about who the child’s parents are.

                Maybe we could agree that there are (and we need) a number of different pieces of paper. There need to be records collected for medical reasons, perhaps. There also need to be documents that show who the child’s legal parents are. There would be lots of ways to accomplish both of these purposes. No doubt what we do now is not the most elegant. For now, birth certificates (as they are commonly called) do the work of showing a child’s legal parents.

                • Julie,

                  I think seeing as you are generally in favor of using specific terms that you might find the words printed on my Raised Seal Certified Certificate of Live Birth from the Washington State Department of Health (which contains far more information than my amended birth certificate).

                  “This is an original record from a sealed file as requested by a court order. This is not the legal birth certificate currently on file for this person.”

                  I think you are splitting hairs in trying to shut down an argument stating it is a State document vs. a Health Record. The data is filed by the attending physician, the health department receives and scrutinizes the data to ensure accuracy, the birth certificate is issued by Vital Records / Department of Health.

                  http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=70.58.080

                  If a birth certificate is amended by court order to change the legal parentage then that is an amended birth certificate – it’s not a big deal I’ve had one for decades. Use the right terminology here on your blog.

                  • Thanks for actually checking the document. I don’t mean to shut down discussion and perhaps I have betrayed my own commitment to precision in language. The document that I carry when I travel with my kids so that I can prove I am their parent–which I think is what most people commonly think of as a birth certificate–isn’t a medical record.

                    I just went and looked at it–it is called a “Certificate of Live Birth” and it has the raised seal. There isn’t very much information on it— date of birth, time of birth, names of parents (and here it surely means LEGAL parents) and the like.

                    There are other documents prepared when a child is born–those required by the CDC, that probably are more like medical records. Those should carry information that is relevant to that a purpose and the information they carry should be accurate, whatever that means in the context.

                    But the documents I carry need to be accurate, too. And that means they need to list the LEGAL parents of the child–which means that if the legal parents change you need new versions of the documents.

                  • Julie,
                    What you have is all an adoptee is allowed to have in the state of Washington (the law changes as of July 2014), a short form certificate of live birth that has been created as an amended version from our original birth certificate. While it is your child’s legal birth certificate it was created from portions of their original birth certificate from the medical documentation of their birth (not medical records – created by the doctor as witness of your child’s delivery, and his/her medical file prenatal/postnatal care of mother and child) – combined with the amended per the court order to replace the parents names. It is an amended birth certificate, or also correctly identified as a legal short form birth certificate (despite looking identical to one not amended). For the sake of clarity just like genetic vs. biological it would be better to the term – amended birth certificate is the common term used in adoption – or use legal birth certificate vs. original birth certificate.

                    Either way it is still (except for the court ordered changes) taken from the record of birth created by the doctor who delivered the baby and includes both prenatal care and info regarding the gestation weeks, previous children, alive, stillbirth, tests, etc., and then submitted it to the department of health to register the birth so that child is recognised by the state (in addition to the statistical information sent to the cdc).

                    If you were not adopted you can get a complete original birth certificate (long form or some states call it the book form (?)). Most people use the short form version (like your children have) because you don’t have to go prove to Vital Records you are who you say you are – you can order it over the internet.

                    I have both because the court ordered mine unsealed – but the OBC (long form) comes with that disclaimer I provided on it, and my amended birth certificate is my legal birth certificate (short form) that my parents used to prove they were my parents – but it isn’t your document to prove parentage, it is their amended birth certificate – you just use it as such while they are minors.

                    I have no idea if that makes a lot of sense…

                  • I can certainly follow up to a point. And if nothing else it shows the complexity. The birth certificate I referred to is actually one of three my kids were issued–each with different names. (I won’t go into details here.) Neither of the parents listed on the certificate is genetically related to the children. But we are both legally related and we need this document to prove that for various purposes.

                    That said, I don’t mean to suggest that the current system is ideal. It is at best confusing. And in the long history of adoption being kept secret it would have been part of the problem. The new birth certificate–and the lack of access to the original–was clearly a problem.

                    perhaps there are two points I would make. One is rather then argue about whether documents are “true” or “false” it might be better to fully describe what they do/how they are used. (The birth certificate with my name as parent is “true” if you understand that what is meant there is “legal parent.”) The other thing might be to sketch out what a different system might look like–perhaps two different things–one that lists genetic parentage and is like a pedigree certificate, almost. And one that lists legal parentage. And everyone gets both? I don’t think anywhere actually does that, though, fwiw.

                  • Yes, your children have amended birth certificates – that are identical to everyone else’s short form birth certificate so no one has to out themselves as adopted. I have that same amended birth certificate – all adoptee’s do. It is the legal version – the state calls them amended.

                    The could on the long form have both a genetic parent and a legal parent boxes – the legal parent is printed when the short form is requested so no one is outed as adopted.

                    With the new-fangled things called computers it should be super easy…

                  • Actually Julie – in regards to a pedigree document – that is how it is held in the UK. Adoptees get an adoption certificate for identification purposes but the birth certificate remains factual.

                    In the US – the original is not changed on adoption – that pedigree certificate always exists. That’s why they create an amended version of it. Two separate documents that always exist.

                    I’m fine with having my surname changed and I had no first name. I’m fine with the amended showing mom and dad as my legal parents.

                    I’m not fine with the original birth certificate being sealed away from the person the certificate is created for/about.

                • How about this Julie please will you retract your statement that birth certificates in the state of washington are not health records? You can say that is not what you personally use them for but that would be largely because the information on the ones you have is not medically accurate. It says its a health record and its issued to you by the department of public health and there are federal guidelines for states to follow because the information requested is of vital importance to public health. What about that would leave you any room at all to defend the statement that it is not a health record other than you happen to know the ones in your hand are not health records because you know they are not medically accurate. Does yours say it its not medically accurate? Cause the TAO said her unsealed original says its not legally accurate. Yours should say its not medically accurate then right?

                  • I’m not inclined to retract the statement, though I wonder if we even have a clear and agreed meaning for the term “health record.” It is issued by the Department of Health. I’ll agree to that. Is that enough to make it a health record? I don’t think so myself, but perhaps some would say it is.

                    The only things on the certificate are place of birth, time of birth, names and ages of parents and name and sex of the child. I actually think this is more in the nature of a public record. I don’t think they are granted the kind of privacy protections most of the things I think of as “health records” are. (Think HIPAA)

                    Why does it matters so much whether we call them a “health record.” The “parent” on a birth certificate means “legal parent”–that’s why you get new ones on completion of adoption. So even if I agreed it was a health record, what difference would it make? It’s a health record that reflects legal parentage. I think you want the “parent” to mean “genetic parent” which is possible in theory but isn’t what is done in practice.

                  • “How about this Julie please will you retract your statement that birth certificates in the state of washington are not health records? ”

                    How about this Marilynn, you learn the difference between what a document is and how it is utilized? I think that would make these discussions more productive.

                  • How about death. Is it a health record?

                  • Birth certificate an accurate representation of the reproductive health of the individuals named as parents? Because it’s supposed to be if it really is a vital record of public health. That is why putting the names of someone other than the biological parents is a lie. If they are going to put the names of people other than the biological parents then it is not the record of vital health it looks like it is. It should be stamped Not valid for health purposes if its not valid for health purposes but that would give away the fact they are not biological parents and let the adopted person know that they have bio parents out there somewhere. But the state does not want to do that because they think less people would adopt and more dependent infants would be on the public dole so the ammend them but don’t say its no longer a health record for any of the individuals named on it. Its a fake because they don’t differentiate between records that are valid for health and ones that are valid only for legal reasons. If the truth is told and the information provided on the original to the health department is a valid representation of the reproductive health of the parents and the condition of the child at birth is rightly tied to them as individuals because that person is their offspring then that person and the government have a record that is valid for its stated purpose and those people are the legal parents. They are the legal parents until their authority is terminated in court on a different piece of paper and authority is granted to the people who adopt. Why do they need to amend the health record without disclosing the fact that its not valid for health reasons? Don’t you get it? The amended record is deliberately misleading in the exact same way lying by omission to an adopted person and not ever saying anything about the adoption, is lying to them.

                    You have said any number of times that you believe adopted people should be told they are adopted. If the health record does not say the parents are legal only type parents, the same thing happens and the risk is run that the assumption will be it is a valid representation of parental reproductive health resulting in that particular individual. That is why its a lie. Why do you think its bad to lie by omission verbally but not on paper? It’s not like the word health is absent from the front of the certificate. It’s not like everyone knows its just a record of legal parentage not when ones that look just like it for others are in fact valid for health reasons. I cannot believe your digging your heels in on this when you have made a big deal about not lying by omission. People have been deceived by this in the past and very likely still are. People are for sure deceived when there is no adoption and the original is wrong and nobody tells them.

                    Maybe we should print across every person’s birth that the names of the parents are not presumed to be a valid representation of their reproductive health and that the state does not presume the parents to be biologically related to the person the certificate is issued for. The information on the parents has not been collected for vital statistical purposes on fertility rates and is not used as the basis for any medical research on heritable disease or birth defects. Individuals are advised to seek private dna testing if they want to determine if they are related to the people named parents.

                    Put that on everyone’s certificate so nobody thinks its used for health purposes and then lets just stop all data collection related to fertility and birth defects and infant mortality. That would be fair. If its good enough to leave adopted people in the dark lets all get on board that out of control train. Make it fair and lets just have it record nothing but legal parents and say so in big bold print. Make it fair. Then we might as well get rid of adoption at that point people could just write whatever works for them.

                  • A historian would call a birth certificate a public record.

                    Likewise, death certificates are classified as public records, as are coroner’s reports.

                    Individual health records are not public records. HIPPA may be confusing the standard concept of public records versus health records in the eyes of the public.

                  • Well said Tess. It’s good to have a voice of reason back. I hope you aren’t pushed away because you are a valuable voice on these boards.

                  • It’s so tempting to comment. Primary historical sources are something I think about a lot.

                    I’m fascinated by the debate over birth certificates, which I tend to see as a public record group akin to census records. (By the way, I’ve seen census records that record the same person as racially white, and as black, in different years. My point is that one should never take public records as an “immutable fact” and always read primary sources with the critical eye of an analyst.)

                    A couple of years ago I spoke to someone who was writing a book about the history of birth certificates. At the time I didn’t understand the interest in the topic, and if I’m honest, I’m still a bit befuddled by the passionate debate about a public record group. I now see it’s a hotly contested by a sub-strata of the population, and it’s implicates how some people see the state’s role in their construction of identity.

              • It maybe how it’s used because there is no other document available for them to use. But it’s role is not to serve as a health record. Does that make sense?

                • Who are you replying to Greg?

                  • TAO I’m totally humbled by the crap like this ya’ll are up against. People really feel they have a right to own and modify the truth of the people they adopt. There are very good adoptive parents in the world who completely respect the adopted person’s rights and are working to change the laws and I am very grateful to be getting to know adoptive parents with ethics and character. But pretty much ya’ll are treated in law like your minors forever as far as I can tell. I don’t know how people tough it out without cracking.

                • No it does not make sense which is what is so maddening about it. THEY have all the proof of their legal status they need in their adoption decrees for them and the adopted person to use to prove they were adopted by those people. It never has been necessary to amend their birth records. It serves them no purpose at all. There would be a lot less to be upset about if they left their identities alone and they just stayed one person who happens to get adopted just like people might happen to get married. It is not necessary and it creates a mess for them and their whole family. Its just incredibly rude to treat people like they are second class and I really mean it for real I mean in law they have fewer rights not like how you mean second class citizen where its just a cross you are carrying around where there are no laws operating actively to oppress you so that someone else can have control over you longer like a house pet.

                  • But that’s the definition of what a birth certificate is and what it proves. You are trying to make it into something it isn’t. This is where I think it’s more emotional for you rather than accepting the facts. It’s not adopt adoption and 3PR and people’s feelings. It’s about the law and definition of what things are. A birth certificate by definition shows where and when a person is born along with parentage. It is used by public health record keepers because there is no other document that exists that provides the information listed on it. It’s like needing a drivers license to show proof of age when purchasing alcohol. That’s not the purpose of a drivers license but it shows proof of age so retailers untilize it.

                    You have to put your emotional feelings aside and just look at it from what the definitions of what things are not how they are utilized.

                • no other available document? The adoption decree the one with the judges signature – instead of the attending physician. That one. The one that states the names of the parents on the birth certificate and states their rights are terminated and states the kids name as it appears on the certificate and how their new name is after the adoption. That is the document they already have that they could use with total ease. Nothing additional needs to be done they can save themselves the extra work of amending the birth record.

                  If we stopped amending certificates it would probably save counties like a million bucks a year in administrative effort and printing ink and paper and accounting of accounts receivable. Totally save the county money. And they would not end up spending billions trying to reconcile the death certificates as they are now under federal requirement to figure out how to fix the problem. Stop amending them and the problem may not be fixed for the past but it will be fixed for the future and would save so much money. Best of all nobody is hurt by it. The adoptive family would have the proof of their authority they need to enroll the kid in soccer practice.

                  What would be the objection to that anyone? Just treat adopted people’s birth records the way everyone else’s are treated. Leave them alone to gather dust except to correct mistakes/omissions of medical fact.

                  • Marilynn,

                    I’m not talking about adoption or third party reproduction. I’m talking about in general why the Department of Health utilizes birth certificates for statistical purposes. It is because there is no other document available for them to track that. You keep bringing up adoption when it has nothing to do with adoption.

                    I understand based upon wage you’ve been exposed to in your life this is an emotional topic but you need to get off your agenda sometimes and realize that not everything is about people who aren’t raised by the adults who conceived them. Sometimes you need to put your emotions aside and think about things logically. You tell me I need to do this all the time but I think that you are even more guilty of it than I am.

              • Marilynn wrote: “I mean the marriage thing while not medical in and of it self is a fair indication of who is screwing who and they can try to manage the spread of disease interconnectedly to families by monitoring marriages along with births and deaths.”

                So now you are happy with records that are a “fair indication” but before when I said as long as lying about paternity was rare you jumped all over me. Marriage is supposed to be a very strong indication of who is conceiving offspring with who. Pretty much all the genealogical records and ancestry records are based on marriage records. I guess now you think we should do family trees using DNA tests, and it’s true they have done that with Thomas Jefferson’s, but there is more to family than DNA ancestry, families are held together and formed by the social and religious customs and the property and traditions that members of a family share. Those are also passed down along with genes.

                I do like your dramatic point of emphasis that marriage certificates are kept at the DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH. It was Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health, remember. They dismissed that as relating to archaic obsolete things like blood tests and eugenic laws, but just as birth certificates are still supposed to be health records, so are marriage records. You can’t be inconsistent here.

                • As a civil matter there is no indication that the two spouses are having sex. They jointly own property though meaning they both have access to the same living space and through that access connecting the two individuals the likelihood of the transmission of communicable disease to them and their extended family members increases, even without the assumption that they are screwing each other. Just as a general matter of logic for a country trying to monitor and control the spread of disease you can see how useful it would be to have a document that would help the department of health understand who might be at risk of exposure if someone comes down with tuberculosis for instance – their relatives, their spouse and their spouses relatives might all get notices in the mail to come to the department of public health to be tested. Obviously this also includes their offspring and their spouses offspring. There are logical reasons for recording the marriage that relate to public health that would have nothing to do with presumption of paternity. The recording of a person’s name as parent on a medical record of someone’s birth indicates presumption of reproduction and statistically it is recorded as record of their reproductive health an presents as such when the record is certified by the state for identification purposes. If the record is not really a record of their reproductive health and is not really a record of the biological origin of the person its issued to identify then it is patently false and should be corrected if the error is ever exposed. The fact that we have laws that allow errors to go uncorrected or worse, to allow errors to be added to the certificate whilst still labeling it as being a health record is deliberately deceptive and contrary to the health of the entire population. Presumption should be based upon concrete evidence or should be withdrawn with proof to the contrary.

                  • “As a civil matter there is no indication that the two spouses are having sex.”

                    I think there is. A marriage is not officially consummated and permanent until sexual intercourse and can be annulled if the parties have not had sex or are unable to have sex and refusal of sex is grounds for divorce. It doesn’t have to be annulled, and the obligations can exist and the legal protections and benefits can kick in even if it has not yet been consummated, but there has to be an expectation that it will be consummated someday, as soon as the spouses are able to be together. Marriage certainly gives the couple the official explicit right to have sex, that i missing from unmarried couples. Even today, there is no official right of unmarried people to have sex, only marriage inherently means that official right that is universally understood around the world: a husband and wife have sex, and no one else can have sex with them.

                    You are too worried about being mistaken for a Christian right winger opposed to feminism and sexual freedom, but obviously assuring liberals that you are cool and hip to free love and not at all into marriage doesn’t really help sway any of the people you are trying to sway. They don’t care that you disrespect marriage, it earns you nothing in return. And because you have thrown out marriage and the expectation of sexual exclusivity within marriage, you have to replace marriage with something even more scary and draconian to feminists – mandatory DNA testing at birth. And it ties you into a pretzel. Why not recognize that there is a huge reasonable area between the right wing marriage scolds and the idea that you have to disrespect marriage completely? Saying that marriage has a right to procreate and unmarried people do not, does not mean putting adulterers in stockades in the public square. It changes nothing, but it does mean you can oppose sperm and egg donation and people being denied their identity without having to come up with mandatory DNA testing of all newborns as the way to tie together your positions.

                    Someday soon DNA parentage testing at birth may be ubiquitous and maybe then it will become mandatory, but the culture isn’t ready to make that change just yet, it is too creepy and intrusive and would take away something that holds families together.

                  • John I totally always thought that it meant sex. It does in slang or common understanding but when I looked it up in my state its not about sex at all its a contract joining property assets and liabilities and people under 18 years old are not allowed to consummate a contract without parental consent they cant fully execute a contract yet. I was fully surprised but the word is used all over the civil code for contracts. Its a contract recognized by the state as treating you like one family so you have to be old enough to understand the implications of that and also the implications on your family too. Your parents won’t be responsible for you anymore etc. Here is a random section that uses consummated in context it appears to mean carried out.
                    “778. When the commission of a public offense, commenced without the State, is consummated within its boundaries by a defendant, himself outside the State, through the intervention of an innocent or guilty agent or any other means proceeding directly from said defendant, he is liable to punishment therefor in this State in any competent court within the jurisdictional territory of which the offense is consummated. ”

                    I found it very interesting that it says people have to be old enough to consummate and then for minors orders them to counseling on:

                    “304. As part of the court order granting permission to marry under
                    Section 302 or 303, the court shall require the parties to the
                    prospective marriage of a minor to participate in premarital
                    counseling concerning social, economic, and personal responsibilities incident to marriage, if the court considers the counseling to be necessary. ”

                    they are not counseled on sex at all social economic and personal responsibilities and that would be related to supporting your spouse financially and the joining of property and all. Not one damn thing about doing the nasty. nothing zip nada.

                    now here goes it about marriage

                    FAMILY.CODE
                    SECTION 300-310

                    300. (a) Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil
                    contract between a man and a woman, to which the consent of the
                    parties capable of making that contract is necessary. Consent alone does not constitute marriage. Consent must be followed by the issuance of a license and solemnization as authorized by this
                    division, except as provided by Section 425 and Part 4 (commencing with Section 500).

                    (b) For purposes of this part, the document issued by the county
                    clerk is a marriage license until it is registered with the county
                    recorder, at which time the license becomes a marriage certificate.

                    301. An unmarried male of the age of 18 years or older, and an
                    unmarried female of the age of 18 years or older, and not otherwise disqualified, are capable of consenting to and consummating marriage.

                    302. (a) An unmarried male or female under the age of 18 years is
                    capable of consenting to and consummating marriage upon obtaining a court order granting permission to the underage person or persons to marry.
                    (b) The court order and written consent of the parents of each
                    underage person, or of one of the parents or the guardian of each
                    underage person shall be filed with the clerk of the court, and a
                    certified copy of the order shall be presented to the county clerk at
                    the time the marriage license is issued.

                    303. If it appears to the satisfaction of the court by application
                    of a minor that the minor requires a written consent to marry and
                    that the minor has no parent or has no parent capable of consenting, the court may make an order consenting to the issuance of a marriage license and granting permission to the minor to marry. The order shall be filed with the clerk of the court and a certified copy of the order shall be presented to the county clerk at the time the marriage license is issued.
                    304. As part of the court order granting permission to marry under
                    Section 302 or 303, the court shall require the parties to the
                    prospective marriage of a minor to participate in premarital
                    counseling concerning social, economic, and personal responsibilities incident to marriage, if the court considers the counseling to be necessary. The parties shall not be required, without their consent, to confer with counselors provided by religious organizations of any denomination. In determining whether to order the parties to participate in the premarital counseling, the court shall consider,
                    among other factors, the ability of the parties to pay for the
                    counseling. The court may impose a reasonable fee to cover the cost
                    of any premarital counseling provided by the county or the court. The
                    fees shall be used exclusively to cover the cost of the counseling
                    services authorized by this section.
                    look like here is the word in another part o the code

                    778. When the commission of a public offense, commenced without the State, is consummated within its boundaries by a defendant, himself outside the State, through the intervention of an innocent or guilty agent or any other means proceeding directly from said defendant, he is liable to punishment therefor in this State in any competent court within the jurisdictional territory of which the offense is
                    consummated.

                  • Historical marriage wasn’t about sex per se, it was about:

                    1) the orderly transmission of property

                    2) the legal definition of families

                    3) the creation of legally “legitimate” children. Only legitimate children could inherit. The ability to inherit was a critical definition of legitimacy.

                    In certain times in history, “illegitimate” children born of unmarried parents were barred from inheriting from their fathers. Fathers had to sell land to illegitimate children to successfully transmit their property to their sons and daughters. It was not unusual for distant “legitimate” cousins to contest the wills that devised land to illegitimate children.

                  • tess that’s a contradiction in terms- marriage is about the creation of legitimate children, but marriage is not about sex.
                    Marriage is and always has been about the regulation of reproduction via the regulation of sex. This is true cross culturally and cross generationally. The form Marriage takes in each society is structured around how each society perceives their reproductive needs.
                    Financial aspects of marriage are distinctly secondary and actually a function of the creation of a family unit via reproduction.
                    The blending of of kin and families is also a function of reproduction, the said families sharing common descendents.
                    Modern Western society as a very anomalous understanding of marriage, and therefore a progressive weakening of the entire institution

                  • kissarita,

                    RE: Marriage.
                    I am talking about the history of legal marriage in regions connected to the English common law tradition. I am not talking about other forms of kinship organization.

                    Slaves could not legally marry in the English colonies. The reproduction of enslaved people provided a significant amount of the labor needs of the Americas.

                    Marriage, in colonial North America, was not central to the reproductive labor needs of the colony. Millions of children were born
                    out of legal wedlock in colonial North American and the United States prior to the Civil War, and they played a critical role in the economy and society of the USA.

                    I agree that legal marriage was, of course, also about the definition of illicit and licit sexuality. It was, of course, also about the definition of proper gendered behaviour. It was about a lot of things.

                    But it was particularly useful, and centrally used, to govern inheritance and laws of property transmission.

                    Marriage in colonies governed by Latin law were also strongly correlated to inheritance and property transmission. One of the major functions of legal marriage, in areas governed by Latin law, was also the transmission of property to legitimate family members. But the property was transmitted according to different rules. The laws of marital coverture are different under English common law.

                    If you are interested in the history of legal marriage in the United States, a good book is Hendrick Hartog, Man and Wife in America. Also, Nancy Cott, Public Vows.

                  • again, about passing inheritance to legitimate heirs- once again Tess that has all to do with sex. and the fact that people didn’t always keep the rules ie having children out of wedlock doesn’t mean that marriage din’t have anythign to do with it.
                    i agree that when the percentage of children born outside of marriage becomes so high, than marriage begins to become irrelevant. i am not sure whether our society has passed that threshold or not. time will tell. but the fact that intelligent people are claiming that marriage is primarily about economics tells me that we may have.

                  • I love talking about the history of coverture. I’m going to miss this.

                    “again, about passing inheritance to legitimate heirs- once again Tess that has all to do with sex. and the fact that people didn’t always keep the rules ie having children out of wedlock doesn’t mean that marriage din’t have anythign to do with it.”

                    Legal marriage defined particular children as proper heirs. I do not mean to say sex did not create children. But when you look at the role of sexual reproduction in the history of the Caribbean and colonial North America — legal marriage is not central to the creation of children and the reproductive needs (the labor force.)

                    “i agree that when the percentage of children born outside of marriage becomes so high, than marriage begins to become irrelevant. i am not sure whether our society has passed that threshold or not. time will tell.”
                    I don’t analyze legal marriage from a Whiggish standpoint — a analysis that puts forth a simple progression or declension of popularity. 4 Million people could not marry in the USA in 1860. More then 10.8 Million people arrived in the Americas from 1492-the later part of the 19th century. Any of those people living in British colonies could not legally marry.

                    10.8 people is a lot of people when the entire population of NYC was about 15K in 1750. When the British dominated the slave trade from 1720 to 1807, over 6 million people alone were bought to the Americas. They were particularly likely to live in English colonies, as British ships were used to transport those individuals.

                    “but the fact that intelligent people are claiming that marriage is primarily about economics tells me that we may have.”

                    I shouldn’t worry about that. The majority of Americans view marriage in the tradition of romantic sentimentalism. I am a historian who studies law in the early Republic and 19th century. Most people will not see historical marriage from my perspective.

                    Early modern individuals, and those living in the 18th century prior to the rise of romantic sentimentalism in the 19th century, understood that marriage was intimately connective with legal marital coverture. They were much more informed by the economic understandings and consequences of marriage.

                    In this above paragraph I am speaking of English settlers, and their relationship to legal marriage. This legal tradition of marriage was radically different from the ways kinship and marriage were used in Native American societies, such as the Powhatan Confederation in the early Chesapeake.

                • Has anyone noticed how two young people get married and everyone’s happy but the old batchelor in the family marries some nice older widow lady and families have nothing nice to say because now if he dies all his share of inheritance and his house will go to his new wife who will will it to her kids? My husbands mother would have been fine with all her kids having children out of wedlock so the money in the family never was out of the family only her grandchildren she spent a lot of money on setting things up so that any inheritance would be diverted around any spouses her kids might have in the future.

                  • “Has anyone noticed how two young people get married and everyone’s happy but the old batchelor in the family marries some nice older widow lady and families have nothing nice to say because now if he dies all his share of inheritance and his house will go to his new wife who will will it to her kids? ”

                    That’s only if his will is written that way.

            • You in Seattle? Right? Cause I’ve gone round and round with Seattle over birth records and name changes o boy with my brother. We use to live on 50th ave in the University district when he changed his name to Dad’s on his 18th bday.

              Anyway Here is where to go to get birth records in King County:
              So I think I would like to to kind of say sorryish for puting my point down. It’s well supported I’m not making it up Julie you act like I’m just completely out to lunch. I know I did not go to school but I have been reading everything I can. It says Department of Public Health.

              Public Health – Seattle & King County
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              How to order a birth certificate

              Certified birth records availability
              All persons born in Seattle or King County (all years)
              All Washington State births registered from 1921 to present.
              For births outside of King County before 1921, please contact the Washington State Center for Health Statistics at 360-236-4300 or toll-free, 800-525-0127.
              Fees
              Birth certificates are $20.00 each (cash, check, money orders). Make checks payable to: Vital Statistics.
              For credit card processing, please see instructions below under methods for ordering.
              Any time a record is searched for and is not found, an $8.00 search fee is charged per the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 70.58.107).
              $8 each for record search only (cash, check, money orders.) Make checks payable to: Vital Statistics.
              Information we need from you to search for a birth record
              Listed in order of importance, provide as much of the following as possible. The first five are required:

              Name of child (First, Middle, Last)
              Birthdate of child
              Place of birth
              Mother’s full maiden name (First, Middle, Last)
              Father’s full name (if it appears on the record)
              Your relationship to the person (self, parent, or explain)
              Adopted? (Yes or No)
              Multiple methods to order a birth certificate

              Ordering in person
              Ordering in person (purchase while you wait):
              Visit the Vital Statistics Office located at:

              Ninth & Jefferson Building
              908 Jefferson St
              Second Floor
              Seattle, WA

              Metered street parking is available in the area as well as the parking garage in the 9th & Jefferson Building (first half hour in the garage is free.)

              Payment only by cash, check or money order. After filling out the order form, your average wait time to receive your birth record order is 15-20 minutes. The Vital Statistics Office is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. To help expedite your order, you can download, print and fill out the form in advance from the mail-in method below and bring it with you.

              Find a bus nearest the Auburn Public Health Center Use Metro’s Trip Planner to find a bus to the 9th & Jefferson Building
              Community Transit: 425-353-7433; toll-free 800-562-1375; TTY Relay: 711
              Mail in ordering
              Mail-in ordering (choose format below):
              Mail-in form in Microsoft Word
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              In Spanish/en español:

              Haga click aquí para un formulario en español para ordenar por correo (en el formato de Microsoft Word)
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              Print out the form, write in your information, and mail it to the address provided on the form. You can expect your birth certificate order in approximately 2-3 weeks when choosing the mail-in method.

              Online ordering with credit card
              Online ordering using a credit card:
              Visit the VitalChek website then follow the instructions on the site. All credit card orders are processed within 2-3 days and then sent by regular mail. The option for UPS (next-day delivery) is an additional $18.50.

              UPS overnight delivery requires a signature when delivered. No UPS delivery to PO boxes.

              What to expect on your credit card bill using VitalChek services:

              The base fee for birth and death records is $20.00 each.
              A fee of $12.50 is added per order (for any quantity of records in the order) for priority handling so if you are ordering one birth certificate at $20 + $12.50 handling fee, you can expect a total of $32.50 charged to your credit card. If you are ordering 2 copies, the charge is $40 + $12.50 = $52.50 total charged to your card.
              Ordering through fax machine
              Fax ordering:
              Birth Certificate Fax Order form (PDF)

              Print out the form, fill in the blanks including your credit card information and fax in the form to 206-296-0983. All credit card orders are processed within 2-3 days and then sent by regular mail. The option for UPS (next-day delivery) is an additional $18.50.

              UPS overnight delivery requires a signature when delivered. No UPS delivery to PO boxes.

              What to expect on your credit card bill using VitalChek services:

              The base fee for birth and death records is $20.00 each.
              A fee of $12.50 is added per order (for any quantity of records in the order) for priority handling so if you are ordering one birth certificate at $20 + $12.50 handling fee, you can expect a total of $32.50 charged to your credit card. If you are ordering 2 copies, the charge is $40 + $12.50 = $52.50 total charged to your card.
              On the fax order form are two boxes for you to select a shipping method either by express delivery (using UPS) or by regular mail. If you choose express delivery, an additional charge of $18.50 is added to your credit card bill. There is no extra charge for regular mail delivery.
              Ordering by phone
              Telephone ordering using a credit card:
              The telephone number is 206-897-4551 during business hours from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Pacific Time, Monday – Friday. A toll-free number is 1-800-325-6165, ext. 6-4768.

              To order over the telephone, a credit card is needed for payment. All credit card orders have an additional $12.50 fee and the order is processed within 2-3 business days then sent by regular mail. The option for UPS (next-day) delivery is an extra $18.50.

              UPS overnight delivery requires a signature when delivered. No UPS delivery to PO boxes.

              What to expect on your credit card bill:

              The base fee for birth and death records is $20.00 each.
              A fee of $12.50 is added per order (for any quantity of records in the order) for expedited handling so if you are ordering one certificate at $20 + $12.50 handling fee, you can expect a total of $32.50 charged to your credit card. If you are ordering 2 copies, the charge is $40 + $12.50 = $52.50 total charged to your card. UPS overnight delivery is an extra $18.50.
              NOTE: Because payment is involved, orders cannot be performed by email.
              Note:
              Some items on this site are in Adobe PDF format. Adobe Acrobat Reader must be installed on your computer to open PDFs. Download and install Reader for free.

              Some items on this page are in Microsoft Word which must be installed on your computer. If you don’t have MS Word, install the free Word Viewer from Microsoft.

              Vital Statistics at Public Health – Seattle & King County does not accept credit cards; however, for your convenience, online, telephone and fax requests are processed through VitalChek Network, Inc., an independent company that we have partnered with to provide you this service.

              VitalChek can be reached with a link to its website, http://www.vitalchek.com. An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using this service, and all major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® or Visa®.

              Updated: Oct. 3, 2013
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            • OK you kind of have me practically wanting to cry here Julie saying it so matter of factly like it reads to me like ‘your naieve and nuts and should stop calling them health records they have never been and never will be your insane to think they should be accurate for health reasons’
              What agency are you believing collects the data and for what purpose are you believing they are collecting it? I’m not kidding. Really what other agency would do that? I could see the Child Welfare Department might take on the task of like legal parentage certificate issuing that might make sense and maybe they really should for adoption decrees that seems to make sense. I mean the marriage thing while not medical in and of it self is a fair indication of who is screwing who and they can try to manage the spread of disease interconnectedly to families by monitoring marriages along with births and deaths. But adoption is pure legal and also welfare after the fact caregiving style. Who did you think issued them and maintained them and why did you think they collected that info. I am having a hard time comprehending where you are coming from. In your world all after the fact fighting custody cases and what not those health records are used as identifying legal documents but they were supposed to pass that test of being medically accurate before getting to that point where you used them as identifying documents. Otherwise well that’s the whole thing with black market adoptions and phony birth certificates they are assumed identities, if the content of the certificate is not medically accurate for parentage then its not a health record and it is an assigned or assumed identity not who they really are. I’m being totally logical here. If they could have just any old info on them from the get go and nobody cared then there would be no such thing as an assumed identity

            • So we have established that the certificate has the word HEALTH written on it and that it is issued by the department of public health and yet you were still saying that it does not meet the criteria for being a medical record that it’s only supposed to identify legal parents. But it does meet the criteria in your state as being a medical record because according to your state a medical record is a record covering
              Chapter 70.02 RCW
              MEDICAL RECORDS — HEALTH CARE INFORMATION ACCESS AND DISCLOSURE
              (16) “Health care information” means any information, whether oral or recorded in any form or medium, that identifies or can readily be associated with the identity of a patient and directly relates to the patient’s health care, including a patient’s deoxyribonucleic acid and identified sequence of chemical base pairs. The term includes any required accounting of disclosures of health care information.
              (14) “Health care” means any care, service, or procedure provided by a health care provider:
              (a) To diagnose, treat, or maintain a patient’s physical or mental condition; or
              (b) That affects the structure or any function of the human body.

              (15) “Health care facility” means a hospital, clinic, nursing home, laboratory, office, or similar place where a health care provider provides health care to patients.
              (13) “General health condition” means the patient’s health status described in terms of “critical,” “poor,” “fair,” “good,” “excellent,” or terms denoting similar conditions.

              So its purpose is to record the identity of people who are healthy enough to reproduce and are the parents of the offspring named on the certificate born healthy dead whatever. And everyone relies on the presumed medial accuracy of the parents identified being te parents of the person named on the certificate like it’s a valid medical record of vital health.
              Why is this so critical? Because amending them is not a real health record so its a fake. The law that allows the amendment is at odds with the accurate content of medical records. You keep saying that its not how its used and that the amended one is not a health record because it is only supposed to show who the legal parents but if the legal parent is not biological then it ceases to be a medical record but presenting it as one makes it a fake.

              • ” yet you were still saying that it does not meet the criteria for being a medical record that it’s only supposed to identify legal parents.”

                Identifying parentage is only one part of a birth certificate. The other part is that it identifies the date and place of when and where a person was born. It also identifies the born gender of a person.

                In terms of healthcare providing services it is used to identify the age and gender of a person. It’s also used to identify who is legally responsible for the caring for that person until they are 18 years old. The only reason it’s utilized for that is because there is no other document that is available to provide that information.

                It has NOTHING to do with trying to figure out whether the people who conceived them were healthy enough to reproduce. Obviously if they weren’t that person would never have been born.

                The reality is that a person’s birth certificate is not a medical record. In the case of someone who is adopted their original birth certificate is not a medical record just like everyone else. Their amended birth certificate is not a medical record either. I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time accepting that the real issue is those who are adopted hard their original birth certificates sealed and donor conceived people from non anonymous donation don’t have access to who are the people who conceived them.

                • Following up on Julie’s statement that birth certificates in Washington are not health records I showed that they have the word health and record on them and that they are issued by the department of public health showing information that was required by the department of health services. Now to your statement that the birth certificate is not a medical record here is Washington’s code on what constitutes a person’s medical records.
                  Chapter 70.02 RCW
                  MEDICAL RECORDS — HEALTH CARE INFORMATION ACCESS AND DISCLOSURE
                  (16) “Health care information” means any information, whether oral or recorded in any form or medium, that identifies or can readily be associated with the identity of a patient and directly relates to the patient’s health care, including a patient’s deoxyribonucleic acid and identified sequence of chemical base pairs. The term includes any required accounting of disclosures of health care information.
                  (14) “Health care” means any care, service, or procedure provided by a health care provider:
                  (a) To diagnose, treat, or maintain a patient’s physical or mental condition; or
                  (b) That affects the structure or any function of the human body.
                  (15) “Health care facility” means a hospital, clinic, nursing home, laboratory, office, or similar place where a health care provider provides health care to patients.
                  (13) “General health condition” means the patient’s health status described in terms of “critical,” “poor,” “fair,” “good,” “excellent,” or terms denoting similar conditions.
                  ————————————
                  Yes it identifies legal parents. A person’s legal parents are automatically their biological parents unless their parental authority is terminated. The names on the certificate are presumed to be the biological parents on the basis of having given birth and on the basis of being presumed the biological father based on various criteria being met like being the husband or voluntary admissions or the results of dna tests. It’s a record of the reproductive health of the mother and father and is the basis for establishing the fertility rate and reproductive health in the general population. The certificate identifies their offspring and is a record of the health of their offspring. It is a medical record presumed accurate for all three of the people named on the certificate which gives rise to recognition that the adults named are legally obligated to the kid as his/her parents.

                  If the legal parents are not biological parents their information should not be on a document that proports to be a record of their health necessary to produce a 3rd person. Nor should the existence of the third person be attributed to them.

                  How would you feel about removing all references to health from everyone’s birth record to make it fair and also stopping the collection of birth and fertility data on a national level because it would be more fair that way. And really if the information on the records cannot be relied upon for health purposes then there really is no reason to maintain them or have the government issue them or to allow people access to records of their relatives. I’m reasonable Greg and Julie. I don’t see the point of having them recorded or issued at all or for the department of health to be involved if it really is going to be as you say it is. If it is good enough for adopted people not to rely on the content as a health record then in fairness none of us should have that ability and scrap the whole effort.

                  We could just go straight to an ID card and have whoever shows up to say they are a parent get written down and then there would be no basis for contesting the statement down the line first come first serve. No biological connection required or allowed as evidence and whoever is named on the card will permanently be recognized as a legal parent without regard to having given birth or gender or whatever. The state simply won’t ask how people privately arrived at the decision to have those individuals walk in the door. Children will be entitled to state care if nobody claims them. How’s that no health data collected on any child or any adult.

                  • A lot of people born in the 18th, 19th and early 20th century were not issued birth certificates.

                  • How would you feel about a birth certificate only listing date and where a person was born excluding who their parents are? Then instead a parenting certificate would be issued. If that changed then an amended parenting certificate would be issued. The original parent certificate could never be sealed regardless of adoption.

                  • I’d be fine with Greg’s suggestion.

                    I am for open records. I think public records should be available to the public.

                    In a general sense, I don’t like the idea of the state collecting individual medical information for its own uses. I don’t think the potential medical benefits outweighs the state’s ability to abuse that power.

                    I don’t feel strongly about this, but I don’t think it’s the state’s job to assign pedigree certificates as if we’re horses. For centuries human families have tracked their lineage by writing it down in Bibles. It worked just fine. The nation-state isn’t our personal genealogist.

                    We got along just fine before the invention of the birth certificate, and I think we’d get along fine if it was replaced by Greg’s idea.

                  • sure greg then no health aspect to the record at all just this person exists. with a serial number. would not even need a birthdate there would be a renewal date. So your age would start when you were registered so it was not a record of your body or how old it was.

                    OK. No biology and no health aspects what so ever for nobody make it fair. Would you stop the whole vital statistics thing too? Its really a waste of money when its inaccurate. Problem solved. So no more paternity / maternity rights or obligations either OK? Nobody would be “entitled to raise” their own offspring. Just whoever manages to register their name on that parentage certificate is a parent until its modified.

                    How would you deal with kinapping prior to getting the card issued though? Or with abandonment prior to the card being issued? Nobody has an obligation prior to the card being issued? Seriously work this out with me. Is every kid a ward of the state until the card is issued? So all kids have the right to rely on the state at least. Well at least that is even for everyone. I like even for everyone.

                  • Greg it would be kind of unfair to people that were able to register their own bio kids as their kids if people who had their kids kidnapped before they registered them sort of intercepted them and registered them first. But if there were no parental rights automatically for bio parents even without registration then they would not have a claim based on biology. Well that is sort of like people who have their gametes stolen at clinics find out other people have their offspring but won’t let them know who or where they are.

                  • We did get along just fine Tess. Its the minors who were sold on the black market who did not fair so well because nobody knew who they really were nobody wrote it down you are talking about a time when children were legally considered property they had no human rights until they were adults if they made it that far not protected from parental abuse and trafficking and the like. What are you thinking?

                  • Free born children were not defined as legal property in the English common law.

                    As a technical matter, the birth certificate is not classified as a medical record. Like Civil War pensions, this record group contains medical information. That does not transform the record group into “individual medical records.”

                    Freedman’s Bureau records are housed with Treasury Department records in the National Archive. That doesn’t mean historians call them Treasury records instead of Freedman’s Bureau Records. Historians who do not visit the National Archives are frequently surprised that the group is housed with Treasury. Record groups frequently end up in places that don’t make much sense, and there is always an odd little story of why they ended up in that place.

                    Other then that, I don’t have anything to add about the topic of birth certificates.

                  • “sure greg then no health aspect to the record at all just this person exists. with a serial number. would not even need a birthdate there would be a renewal date. ”

                    No, you’re not understanding me. There would just be the date of birth and where the person was born. It would truly be a birth certificate proving where and when a person was born. The only thing that would be excluded would be the parentage part where there would be a separate certificate for that.

                    “Greg it would be kind of unfair to people that were able to register their own bio kids as their kids if people who had their kids kidnapped before they registered them sort of intercepted them and registered them first.”

                    You see you just fell into my trap. I knew this had nothing to do with the children and everything to do with the parents for you. It’s about what is fair for biological families not equal treatment for you. You just want bio parents to be elevated and non bio parents to be knocked down. This is what it’s always about for you. You can never admit it but you’ve been exposed again.

        • well who should have the legal responsibility for a dependent minor first? If the child is not allowed to rely upon their genetic parents for that care and support then whom would they have the right to rely upon and how would we observe the means by which that non-bio parent obtained control over them? Are we not concerned that the non-bio parent might have paid for the opportunity to be their parent? Might have coerced or influenced the bio parent to be absent? Are we not concerned that the bio parent may not even know that they have offspring what if their gametes were misappropriated? We have to start with identifying the bio parents and have a standard of care for them to follow before we can look to someone other than bio parents to be responsible for the kid

          • This is my question in the starting from one parent line of thought. Who has first responsibility? The answer does not have to be (and it is not always) the genetic forebears. For instance, if a woman buys an egg and her husband’s sperm is used to fertilize it and the resulting embryo is transferred to the woman and then she gives birth, she is the legal parent and bears first responsibility, along with her husband.

            It’s not that I disagree about the child needing to rely on someone. It’s just I don’t go with your assumption that that person is the one who has the genetic connection. And I think this assumption is really critical to much of what you say about sale of sperm and eggs, say.

            • Well see here again I am not under the false impression that they are selling sperm and eggs. It’s interesting to see that people continue to speak of it that way despite the fact that they are not operating under any illusions. The facts bear it out, if they receive money it is taxable incocme rather than in the form of a charitable donation that is deductable and that taxable income is not income on an item sold, property sold, its taxable as an independent consultant for providing services. Not only does that throw sperm and egg selling out the window it throws baby selling out the window too. I was not too happy about following the logic through but there it is. The very first thing they have to agree to before they are even screened and tested is that they have to agree not to take responsibility for any offspring born as the result of the servies they are providing they have to agree to abandon their responsibiiities for the kid at birth and some agreements require them to go to court and give their child up for adoption if anyone should call into question the legality of their donation agreement that they agree to give their child up for adoption if necessary in order to secure parental rights for the people who want to raise their child. So the service they are really providing won’t even begin until their child is born. If they did not agree to do that service later the services now would be unwanted. They pay them now for basically doing nothing later but doing nothing is really something according to the contract.
              So what bothers me here is that people know they’d have a support obligation to their offspring once they are born. Male donors are exempted but therein lies the rub they know that in general they’d be accountable and they have to be willing to forgo the care of some of their offspring in order to make some people happy or make money or whatever. They know the obligation is there and what they are doing is simply all colluding to conceal the facts so that at birth he’s never identified as the father. Many contracts address the sketch nature of that by making them agree to adopt the kid out if its required. I think that is so wretched that they’d put that in there and I can see now that courts are going the private contract rout allowing people to contract away their parenthood (which looks like sell their kids but I’m going to be logical its not).
              It matters that we hold people as accountable for their offspring because their offspring are vunerable to being taken and raised without due process of a court approved adoption to protect them. I think everyone agreeing to falsify the health record before the kid is born is pretty bad they are skipping steps that are supposedly good we make other people follow them. So I’m sure most black market adoptions that don’t involve kidnapping involve all parties reaching consensus prior to the birth of the child. So go back further to prior to conception what differene does it make? The actions that everyone is agreeing to won’t take place until after the kid is born. Isn’t time essential to the agreement?

          • “well who should have the legal responsibility for a dependent minor first? ”

            The person(s) who take on that responsibility at the time of birth. Whether or not they are genetically connected to the child is irrelevant. But if they are going to assume that responsibility at birth they need to be held accountable forever.

            I think this is a completely different issue than one having access to knowing who conceived them and what two blood lines they came from.

            • OK that’s fine they take on that responsibility at birth but from whence did that obligation come? If its not their offspring they would have some choice we hope of not being forced into a position where they are raising someone else’s offspring against their will and possibly with out the bio parent’s consent. If you think free will and consent are two things that are important before a non-bio person takes on the job of raising another person’s offspring then that would be consistent with how it is done in adoption. In black market adoptions the child is not the offspring of people named parents and there is no record that they are not really that person’s parents. Did the bio parent consent? Was the non bio parent forced? Was the non-bio parent well suited to take on the task of raising someone else’s offspring? Convicted sex offender building his own little army of sex slaves? We don’t know they skip the court approval back ground checks and signed consent in black market adoption. They all get together before a child is born or sometimes even conceived and conspire collude to falsify the child’s identity to conceal the illegal adoption.

              • Your first question–where the obligation comes from–that is my key question. It’s the main thing I keep returning to.

                Where indeed does the obligation come from. And why does it come from whatever you answered. So, for instance, if you say the responsibility comes from genetic connection, why is that? Why does the genetic connection lead to the initial responsibility? What argument justifies that assignment of responsibility? Is it enough that this means there will be two people responsible for every child or is there something more that justifies it?

                And what is the nature of that initial responsibility? Is that initial responsibility the same as that of a legal parent? I think one could say that you have some responsibility for your genetic material without saying you are therefore the initial legal parent of the child created with that genetic material. Perhaps you discharge your responsibilities if you give (or sell) an egg to someone who I know wants a child and will take responsibility for the child? (This kind of responsibility IS NOT the same as legal parentage which we will not allow to be privately bestowed.)

                • Yeah but their agreements actually talk about relinquishing their parental obligations of their kids born of the agreements at birth – so like if there is a kid born then in that case they are agreeing not to fulfill their parental obligations and that they will not seek to be named as the legal parent of that child. I mean it says that in the agreement. If they would not agree to that then the next part of the agreement the harvesting of genetic material is not going to happen. I mean If the goal of the agreement was just the egg it would not talk about acknowledgement and consent to stuff that will happen after the kid is born. They would not be agreeing to go to court and give the kid up for adoption if necessary in order to ensure the commissioning party gets parental rights. You’d be right if the content of the agreement did not include their consent to allow others to play their roll of parent. Since the contract includes all that its pretty clear that there is an acknowledgement that baring the agreement and everyone colluding to falsify identifying documentation for another person, they are trying to make a baby with someone and if they wind up with offspring out of the deal they’d be responsible or could be found responsible which is why they collude to conceal the deal obviously.

                  It’s just shady and it has nothing to do with biological superiority its shirking responsibility and treating human beings like products that are desirable and transferable.

                  • “You’d be right if the content of the agreement did not include their consent to allow others to play their roll of parent.”

                    You see it’s sarcastic jabs at non bio parents like this that tell me you have an agenda against them. You say you don’t but comments like this say otherwise.

                • Well I like mental exercises to make everything fair. Lets not worry about the time before people were born. For the sake of this conversation we have people and some of them have offspring and others don’t have offspring. All of them are of course offspring themselves. Should people be legally accountable for providing and caring for their own offspring while they are in a state of dependency? Remember not every child is going to be wanted and sought after. Not every child will be seen as a gift or a blessing or a prize and parenthood won’t be viewed as an award for every minor born. There will be people born that nobody hot to raise. Minors should be legally entitled to care from the individuals who created them because it is not really reasonable to expect that anyone else would automatically have such an obligation for another person’s offspring. I’m not talking about specific minors but rather what would any and all minors deserve and who would they have a reasonable expectation of receiving that from? If you don’t want to say the bio parents which every single kid has, then do you want to say the state? because every singe kid also is a citizen of the state so it would be easy enough to say they all have a right to support from the state and we do that also as a secondary line of defense but we don’t start there cause it would be too expensive. Obviously why would we pay for the care of children when the people who caused them to exist and to be dependent are perfectly capable of taking care of them themselves? If they fail or if they just cannot hack the responsibility the kid becomes a ward of the state and the state will seek to offload that financial responsibility by adopting its wards otu to private citizens. Private citizens are the third line of defense in who a kid might have a right to rely upon for support. They could not just be forced, the way you can force a bio parent because they did not create the problem that needs to be solved. It’s not their fault a dependent child exists so the government kind of needs to know that person who is the 3rd line of defense in keeping the child alive, they need that person to consent to take the responsibility on. It would be wrong to force them to take that responsibility on it would not be fair. I’m not going to get into consent to relinquish by the bio parent or consent of the other parent but suffice to say their is value in having consents written down for everyone and that skipping that and writing down a non bio name skips essential protective steps

                • I agree Julie. I think the idea of a person being legally responsible for a child they conceived is morally based not legally based.

                  • Greg you said below that the birth certificate does not provide a record of someone’s health, their fertility, and the existence and identity of their offspring and that there is no record in existence that records those things.

                    I’m providing you the following information on birth certificates representing the fertility rates based on birth certificate data biological parenthood:
                    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/new_nvss.htm#new_birth

                    Assessing the Quality of Medical and Health Data From the 2003 Birth Certificate Revision: Results From Two States Adobe PDF file [PDF – 284 KB] (7/2013)

                    Recent Trends in Births and Fertility Rates Through June 2012 (12/2012)

                    Childbearing Differences Among Three Generations of U.S. Women Adobe PDF file [PDF – 446 KB] (8/2011)

                    Transitions Between Childlessness and First Birth: Three Generations of U.S. Women Adobe PDF file [PDF – 640 KB] (8/2011)

                    Expanded Data From the New Birth Certificate, 2008 Adobe PDF file [PDF – 590 KB] (7/2011)

                    Recent Trends in Births and Fertility Rates Through 2010 (6/2011)

                  • I love how you provide links thinking it proves you right when in reality it proves you are unable to comprehend what you’re linking.

                • Does the obligation come from the rights of the child to be cared for by its mother and father, like the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child says?

                  “6. The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs love and understanding. He shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, and, in any case, in an atmosphere of affection and of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother…”

                  By “his parents” they mean his genetic mother and father, we agree, right? If the child has a right to be raised by his parents, then the parents have an obligation raise their children. And not in “shared parenting” shuttling back and forth situations if that can be avoided, especially during the “tender years.”

                  • I don’t agree that there is a consensus on the definition of parent in the UN Declaration of Rights.

                    Not only is there no consensus in that document, but this word is being vigorously debated in several discourse arenas. In legal discourse, the news media, cultural products such as TV shows, and in the comments from this blog — the definition of parents is hotly contested.

                    Not only is there is no public consensus on the definition of parent (or mother, or father) — there is also a public debate about the mutability of gender, sexuality, inter-sexed people, and the definitions of man, masculine, women, and femininity.

                  • I think this is a very important point. There isn’t agreement about what parent means–it’s something that needs to be discussed. Experiences–local and cultural–lead people to different ideas about who should count as a parent. There may be some universal truths out there (it’s always bad for children to be ripped from their homes and forced to be soldiers?) but this isn’t one of them.

                    Indeed, as Tess notes, many concepts in common use are the subject of debate and discussion. It’s one of the things that makes life so interesting.

                  • Professor Shapiro – thank you for your comment.

                    I would add one more point. The study of history is the study of change over time.

                    Almost all of these comment threads are a debate about questions of history: What counts as a historical subject? What is subject to historical change? What is a universal, unchanging fact?

                    Are the definitions of the words “parent, “mother,” and “father,” subject to history? Are they historical categories? Or are they unchanging, universal truths?

                    Is the definition of “marriage” subject to history? Is it a historical category? Or is it a unchanging, universal truth?

                    Is the definition of “gender” and “sexuality” subject to history? Is it a universal truth? Or is it a historical category?

                    My colleague who is writing about the history of the birth certificate believes that the birth certificate possesses a history. He believes the uses, meanings, and production of the birth certificate are historical.

                    Anything that is a historical category will change over time. Universal, unchanging truths are not historical subjects. You cannot write a history of a universal truth, because history is not a collection of facts. History is the study of change over time.

                  • Well it was written before it was possible for a mother to give birth to someone else’s fertilized egg and before use of sperm from other men, but it is pretty clear given they refer to pre-natal care for the mother that they mean the birth mother, and that by “his parents” they mean birth mother and genetic father, the birth mother’s husband.

                    At any rate, I was answering Julie’s and Marilynn’s question about where does the obligation come from: no one had made the fairly obvious connection that the obligation to raise one’s own children comes from a child’s rights to his own parents care.

                    It also says “The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. He shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form.” I think “in any form” includes traffic of the gametes and traffic of surrogates. And I think “neglect, cruelty, and exploitation” covers neglecting that people often feel a loss when discovering that they were intentionally separated and deprived of their biological families to fulfill frivolous desires of rich people to control and exploit them and call themselves their “parents.”

                    And as to definition of male, female, gender and sex, there are different contexts where definition matters. For my proposed ban on creating people except by joining a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg, it obviously requires a definition that doesn’t allow transgendered people to circumvent the ban by saying they are the other other sex. Labs would recognize the truth, even if the public records and legal documents said a man was a woman. So people might have disparate legal sex, public sex, and reproductive sex, especially intersexed people, but all people have one sex that is the sex they would be most likely able to reproduce as, no one could ever possibly be equally likely to mother and father children. That is the sex people have a right to be, not the other sex, and people only have a right to reproduce with the other sex, not with the same sex. If we say people have a right to be either sex, like Postgenderism says, it denies the right to be the sex we are and not be the sex we aren’t. Part of being a man is not being able to be a woman, so if a man can be a woman, then a man can’t be a man anymore.

                  • 1) Some people are inter-sexed. (Hermaphrodites)

                    2) What is a woman who gives birth to an embryo made up of donor sperm and donor egg?

                    It is not clear to everyone in the world that she is not the “mother.” There is no consensus on this matter.

                    The mere fact I am writing this comment displays there is no clear consensus on the definitions of these words.

                    You take the a-historical position when it comes to these words. Different opinions make the world interesting.

                    However, there is no consensus on these matters. The fact there is no consensus suggests they are, indeed, subject to historical change.

                  • There have been no humans that were true hermaphrodites, fertile as both male and female. The same person has never both fathered a child and given birth to a child. There are animals like clownfish that can do that, and earthworms, but humans are not clownfish and every person has one sex which is the sex they are most likely able to reproduce as. For most people it’s very obvious which sex that is, a few people are ambiguous but a lab would make a determination about whether to help this person produce sperm or eggs. No one has a right to choose which one they prefer and reproduce that way, not even inter-sexed people.

                    A woman who gives birth to another woman’s genetic child is a surrogate mother, aka a gestational carrier. She might wind up as the legal mother as well, but that is always in flux. A legal parent can always be changed. There is consensus on those facts.

                  • Many countries and provinces (Ireland/Canada) define the legal mother as the woman who gives birth to a child. California, however, does not. There is no consensus among nation-states on this matter. There is certainly no consensus among individual humans.

                    What sex do you label a human who possesses both testicular and ovarian tissue?

                  • John i agree with your last comment

                  • You mean what sex should a doctor assign such a child at birth? I think they should endeavor to make their best guess about whether the person is more likely going to be able to be a mother or a father and assign that sex and raise the parents should child as that sex. They shouldn’t just go by appearances or ease of cosmetic surgery like they did in the 60’s and 70’s, and they shouldn’t imply that it doesn’t matter and it’s a choice of whatever the child or adults prefer. I agree with the current thinking that surgery on intersexed children is mutilation and unnecessary in this enlightened culture, even if it means an awkward childhood for some kids, and I believe natural fertility should be preserved.

                    So in the case of people born with both tissues, I say take the best guess, and then wait until they are adults and hopefully they guessed right, so that the person is able to marry and reproduce as their legal and social sex. If they guessed wrong, though, and in the course of their treatment for infertility a doctor says actually they would have a better shot at reproducing as the other sex, then the lab should say they can only help them reproduce as the other sex (and therefore not with the person they were hoping to reproduce with, unfortunately). They would be infertile as their legal sex, for private reasons known only to them and their doctor. In other words, for purposes of the egg and sperm law prohibiting genetic engineering and same-sex procreation, the person’s private real medical sex is what matters, not the public or legal or assigned sex. But that person could change their legal and public and social sex (indeed all people can) and then they’d be allowed to marry someone else of the other sex and try to reproduce with that person, and a lab could then help them because their judgement that it is the sex that they are most likely able to reproduce as. Or they wouldn’t even have to change their legal sex to try as the other sex, and we’d end up with a legal male that was a mother, or legal female that was a dad, but we have lots of those already. But once someone is successful at procreating, then we know for a fact that they are more likely to be successful as that sex because they were successful as that sex first, and people only have a right to be a mother or a father, not both. Not even if they have remnants of a birth defect that gave them tissue, because the human body has one sex by definition. There is no right to try to turn that other tissue into gametes to make another child as the other sex, it would unethical. It is always unethical to intentionally create a person and the only thing that allows us to it that people have a right to procreate that overrides the risks. It’s when it’s done intentionally and without a right that the unethical aspect takes precedence and we can protect the child from being exploited.

                  • Tess at issue here I’m generally concerned with misrepresentation and the disadvantage it causes to people that have a right to presume the information is accurate because the state presumed it to be accurate with regard to their health and the health of those named as their parents. It does profess to be a record of those individuals health and the government relies on it as such and there is a large segment of the population whose records align with all of that. There will be a segment whose records don’t align and it’s reasonable to say that it should be correct. If it’s not correct and it’s possible to obtain the accurate information so that these individuals are similarly situated to people who have the correct information I see no reason for withholding the information from them.
                    If it knowingly can’t be relied upon by a segment of the population because of state authorized falsification and because of the state’s reluctance to correct errors when they feel the truth does not serve the state’s financial interests or the financial interests of the person named on the record then nobody should be able to rely upon the medical accuracy of birth records and we should simply stop issuing them or turn them into a document that states there is no medical or health or reproductive of genetic basis for the naming of the parents on the record. That would be fair to the entire population. Simply remove biological parenthood as giving rise to legal parental obligation. Eliminate maternity and paternity to identify who is a legal parent.

                  • “A woman who gives birth to another woman’s genetic child is a surrogate mother, aka a gestational carrier. She might wind up as the legal mother as well, but that is always in flux. A legal parent can always be changed. There is consensus on those facts.”

                    Perhaps I am not being clear. The following is why I am stating there is no consensus on the definition of legal mother.

                    In many countries and jurisdictions, the woman who gives birth is assigned the status of first legal mother. If she is a surrogate who has carried an embryo for another person, that baby must be legally adopted in that country or jurisdiction. In this case the genetic mother would be the second mother.

                    In many countries a genetic mother is not able to be placed on the first birth certificate. She must adopt the child. In Ireland the “mother” under the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, would be seen as the birth mother, genetic or non-genetic.

                    There was a case in Ireland that recently challenged the Irish law that assigned the surrogate mother as first legal mother. A couple, who were the genetic parents, challenged the law. They failed, requiring them to adopt their genetic child.

                    But in California, the birth mother is not the first legal mother in legal surrogate cases. An adoption is not necessary.

                    It seems to me there is no legal consensus on this question of “who is the mother?” among nation-states.

                    In fact, if there was consensus, and it was not a contested issue, I doubt people would comment on these threads. There would be nothing on which to comment.

                  • Tess, not sure what point you are trying to make. IVF has made it possible for women to carry other women’s fertilized eggs, and of course there is no “consensus” of how to deal with that. Surrogacy and heterologous IVF should be prohibited so that women only ever give birth to their own babies, and never intentionally get pregnant with anyone but their husband’s sperm. Then there would be a lot less to comment on here.

                  • To clarify:

                    Quite a few nation-states define as the “mother” the individual you would define as a “gestational surrogate.”

                    These nation-states signed the treaty. Thus, within the context of the treaty, and according to the legal logic of these nation-states, the mother may be a non-genetically related woman.

                  • OK kids I am fully up to speed on all the various opinions on what constitutes a parent. That particular debate will go on for all eternity I am now convinced of it. What cannot be up for debate is what constitutes a record of someone’s health, their fertility, and the existence and identity of their offspring. The birth certificate is a health record, which it is according to the department of public health and the department of health services, Not only that but in your state Jule the content of the record also qualifies as a medical record I checked and even copied the text of the code into an earlier comment. So the reason I focus so heavily on this issue is that naming anyone other than a biological parent on a birth certificate is in conflict with its accuracy as a medical record about the people named on it. And I think this is significant and I think people have a right under hippa to have errors on their medical records corrected and I’m going to start having them try to do that so it sets a little precedent for a baseline of biological accuracy that people are entitled to so that some day someone who has the money or knows someone can take those little examples of corrections and say that everyone born is entitled to that level of accuracy. If that level of accuracy is not an expectation and is even sometimes deliberately made inaccurate while still leaving it saying that its a health record then that is totally unfair and we should stop saying its a health record entirely and not use any of the information collected for health statistics.

                    Tess was saying that it use to be back in the old days that people were not issued birth certificates and families handled things privately but that is because children were not recognized as citizens with rights they were property and were horribly abused sometimes and there was no proof of whose children they really were they just belonged to whoever purchased them. This is very consistent with her arguing about slavery. She is totally fine with children not having any human rights civil rights no legal expectation not to be bought or sold. She’s cool with private behind closed door sales prior to birth so that whoever buys the title gets to write their name down and take the kid when her or she is born. So long as they are not picking cotton its not a human rights abuse. Don’t keep track of kid’s being born or who they have a right to be taken care of by so you won’t know if any go missing and die from abuse or neglect

                  • “What cannot be up for debate is what constitutes a record of someone’s health, their fertility, and the existence and identity of their offspring. The birth certificate is a health record,”

                    And yet, it is being debated.

                    “children were not recognized as citizens with rights they were property and were horribly abused sometimes and there was no proof of whose children they really were they just belonged to whoever purchased them. This is very consistent with her arguing about slavery.”

                    1) Please do not take an uncivil tone with me. Your last two comments to me have been unnecessarily personal. I would prefer that you not engage with me at all if you cannot do so without attacking me personally.

                    2) Ironically, I specialize in the study of 18th- and 19th-century North American slave codes and black laws.

                    I understand you have no interest in my historical knowledge of slavery or indentured servitude. You are also uninterested in my knowledge about the history of citizenship or the historical legal status of free born children.

                    That’s fine. But if you have no interest in my comments, it would, perhaps, be best if you ceased to respond to me.

                    3) Why must you destroy the fun of this blog with your uncivil tone? Professor Shapiro’s posts are so wonderfully rich and tempting. I adore thinking about her legal questions. It’s given me ideas for future writing and lecture topics. But your personal attacks transform interesting academic questions into disturbing emotional interactions.

                  • Hey guess what I just found out? Medical Records – HIPAA – Providence Hospital – Mobile, Alabama
                    http://www.providencehospital.org/…/medical_records.php‎
                    Providence Hospital
                    Release of Information/Medical Records; Birth Certificates; Death Certificates … records are available upon written request with a valid HIPAA authorization.
                    Hippaa does say that birth certificates are medical records. So the fact that some people’s birth records are not medically accurate does not mean that the birth certificate is not supposed to be a medically accurate record. I know they are not always accurate that is my whole point they contain false information about who the parents are if we hold them to the standard of accuracy as a medical record. And since there is no evidence that they are supposed to be something other than a medical record and we just let people falsify them sometimes I think we need to stop letting them falsify them because it’s not fair to the people forced to live life under an assumed identity. I know this is all terribly boring to everyone but this one issue making sure that the birth certificate does not contain non bio names means that people will be entitled to the biological identity of their parents and that nobody can just step in without going to court and become their legal parent. And that if they do become their legal parent the last place their name belongs is on a health record that implies they have offspring. This would make truth for all these people their right . Yall could fight about the meaning of parent on any other document but not on a medical record not on a health record. There it should be medically correct.

                  • I’m seriously going to stop the open records movement and start the accurate records movement. Watch me.

                  • Accuracy? A devotion to representing people with accuracy?

                    Or slander?

                    “This is very consistent with her arguing about slavery. She is totally fine with children not having any human rights civil rights no legal expectation not to be bought or sold. She’s cool with private behind closed door sales prior to birth so that whoever buys the title gets to write their name down and take the kid when her or she is born. So long as they are not picking cotton its not a human rights abuse.”

                  • “children were not recognized as citizens with rights they were property”

                    Historical accuracy? Or factual error?

                    Were white children citizens in 1812? Yes. This is a fact.

                  • Here’s the problem:

                    I can handle it when people mangle history. I’m ok with people not understanding the history of citizenship.

                    But when someone personally addresses me, deliberately mischaracterizes my argument, and WORST OF ALL adds in a variety of historical falsehoods about my field of study — it drives me absolutely bananas.

                    I feel the overwhelming need to explain the difference between a citizen, a non-citizen, enslaved people, and indentured servants in the new Republic. I feel the need to explain that freedpeople were not citizens until the 14th Amendment. Ugh!

                    Thus the hysterical historian leaves the monkey cage. Darn it all, it’s so much fun until she trolls me. And I cannot resist.

                    Thank you, Prof. Shapiro, for running this blog. It is a great public service. If we meet in person someday at a conference, I hope you don’t think I’m a nut. But I wouldn’t blame you. I admire your grace on this blog.

                    Clearly I should never start my own blog, as I’m not old enough for the internet. I’ll need to find a different form of pubic service/ education. Thanks again.

                  • “What cannot be up for debate is what constitutes a record of someone’s health, their fertility, and the existence and identity of their offspring.”

                    You’re right because there is no record that provides those things that exists. A birth certificate only provides name date of birth where a person was born and parentage. But again your argument is the work is flat.

                    “She is totally fine with children not having any human rights civil rights no legal expectation not to be bought or sold. She’s cool with private behind closed door sales prior to birth so that whoever buys the title gets to write their name down and take the kid when her or she is born. So long as they are not picking cotton its not a human rights abuse. Don’t keep track of kid’s being born or who they have a right to be taken care of by so you won’t know if any go missing and die from abuse or neglect”

                    Wow, this is so far off from what Tess is saying and what her views are. These comments are uncalled for and just shows how far you will go to shred other people who don’t have the same views you do.

                    You have nerve coming from someone who is part of the Neo Nazi like non biological parent movement. According to you there is no such thing as a non biological family. You just want legalized babysitting for adults who didn’t conceive a child who are raising that child.

        • Also if you follow the chain of authority the certificate content starts with the department of public health and it stays with the department of public health. It’s not even like it gets passed on to any other governing agency like child welfare or tax assessor records. If the content of the certificate was dictated by some other branch of government that had an interest in keeping track of who is the parent of whom and then the department of public health co-opted that information and kept a copy as well you might have a point but you say it like I’m so stupid for thinking it when honestly you have not explained why you think what you think.

          • Who cares where it’s processed? The reality is the definition and purpose of the document is not for health record keeping.

            • You have got to be fkg kidding me? Who cares where its processed ? The reality is that its not for health record keeping? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds? When the federal guidelines for birth certificate recording are established by the department of public health and are used for medical research and are maintained and issued by each state’s department of public health? The whole reason why birth certificates are used as the basis for people’s identities is the identity of the parents is presumed to be a medically accurate statement of the origin of the individual whose birth is recorded in order to fix them in relationship to others in the global community in order to establish the person’s true identity. It’s medical accuracy is essential to its function as an identifying document. The laws that allow for amendment upon adoption fail to take this into account which is why adopted people frequently have difficulty getting jobs in the federal government or traveling abroad or with getting citizenship if born out of their country because the federal government does not want the fake birth records they are worthless as records of public health. The federal government knows and allows states to amend the birth records for adoption but was not thinking of how they’d reconcile the fact that now they have millions of dead people who, according to their records were never born. Now the federal government has tasked States with telling them who all these dead people actually are because in reality one person can only have one identity and States have to figure out how to fix the problems caused by filing fake health records in their local health office as a convenience to adoptive parents. The fake record is not an accurate record of the adoptive parent’s health, they did not reproduce. It’s fake all the way around but it presents to the world and the adopted person as being no different than one that would be on record with the federal government. Adopted people who go to get jobs within the federal government might learn for the first time they are adopted because they’ll be told the agency they are applying to wants to know who they actually are they need their real birth certificate, they can’t tell who they are from the amended one.

              So Greg the birth certificate is a health record used for health purposes by the person and the government and because of its supposed medical accuracy is then the base line for that person’s identity for use in applying for a driver’s license or for enrolling in school. If we actually said forget trying to pretend that this information is medically accurate go ahead everyone just write down whoever is there when the person is born they can just make up whatever they want there would be no point in keeping the records at all if people could just write down the information that would serve their interests best. I’d love for people to think I was rich educated and successful, they would react to me in ways I would find more enjoyable than being poor uneducated and hopelessly mediochre. But the truth is the truth and there is no reason why others should be subjected to false documentation in order to feed my ego or make life easier for me for that is not fair to them. I’m sure presenting as a biological parent might make some adoptive parents feel more like a biological parent but that is not fair to people who might really need to know the truth for personal reasons. An adoption decree serves the needs of the adopted parents and adopted person to demonstrate the parents named on the birth record have had their parental authority terminated and that the adopted person has rights within the adopted family and that the adopted parent now has parental authority over the adopted minor. They don’t need to modify the adopted person’s identity they don’t need to mess with the birth record or withhold it from the adopted person or withhold the adoption records from relatives who need to know the identity of the person they are related to.

              It could all be very fair to make the best of the unfortunate circumstances that led to the minor being separated from their family. It could all be handled in a way that gives the adoptive family and adopted person documentation of their legal status as a family while leaving the adopted person and their relatives positioned no differently in terms of kinship or identity or access to records than a person who was not adopted or family who had not lost a member to adoption.

              • Marilynn,

                What is so hard about comprehending a definition? Look up the definition of what a birth certificate is. What you are saying is like saying the world is flat and think if you argue it a certain way it will prove the world is flat when it isn’t. You can’t argue the definition of this. You need to take your emotion out of this and accept that a birth certificate is not what you think it is.

                • I’m sorry where did your definition come from? Because mine comes from the Federal Government that outlines the content of the birthcertificate and from the Agencies that govern the collection of information for the stated purpose. Your’s comes from a web dictionary?

                  • No, your definition comes from how the government utilizes birth certificates not what a birth certificate actually is. I think this is a matter of you not understand the difference between what a document is and how it is utilized. If you can take your emotion out of it I think it would make sense if you look at it rationally.

            • There is a nation of people who feel that injustice to them is a right to you and for that reason I really try hard to help even though I am not personally impacted by the discrimination. I hate the fact that people who are not personally being discriminated against will stand by and watch it the way kids do in school when they see the mean girls tormenting a girl who didn’t do anything to anyone or the way jocks pick on the little guy in the locker room. Indifference is the worst thing its so horrible that people who are lucky to not be in the position won’t step in and make it stop.

              • If you are talking about OBCs being sealed, I agree that is an I justice. That is people not having access to their own records. However on how a birth certificate operates it’s the same for everyone. Again people aren’t treated differently their circumstances are different.

            • The people with the fake health records care. Their relatives that cannot find them care. I care.

              • I’m going to reply to this one comment and then drop out of this conversation–partly because it feels unproductive to me (round over the same ground) and partly because I’ve got a new post I must finish.

                The records you discuss are only “false” to the extent they are supposed to list genetic kin. If they are supposed to list genetic kin then listing legal but non-genetic kin is wrong. But if they are supposed to list legal kin and they do list legal kin then they aren’t false–they are exactly as they should be.

                I’ve tried to write this without naming the records because it seems to me that raises all sorts of other confusion. There are different records created when a child is born and they serve different purposes. Perhaps some of them carry misleading names or could carry different names. Perhaps we could or should create a new system that has a different set of records that are more clearly separated by purpose and by name. This could be a useful discussion, but it doesn’t seem to me to be one that is really happening anywhere.

                Undoubtedly there’s a lot of confusion about the various documents. Surely clarity would help. I have to think that genetic kin who are not legally related wouldn’t object to being omitted from a listing of legal kin (except to the extent they really wanted to be legal kin, and that’s a different problem.) Similarly, if a person had access to information about genetic parentage and also proof of legal parentage, I’m not sure why the person would object. (That last goes to a different question–though an important one–about having access to information.) I just don’t see that the repeated insistence that various documents are false is terribly helpful after a point.

                • Agreed Julie. Though I don’t see why the laws have to completely be changed for one small group when what we have in place works for almost the whole population. I believe OBCs shouldn’t be sealed at all. But believe that what a birth certificate is defined as should not change.

                  • Well I think that one small group of people should be treated the same as the big large group of people. They already have adoption decrees, just use them if they need to prove the parents named on the certificate no longer have parental authority. The adoption decree is what gave them their authority and the birth certificate is what gave the original parents theirs. We don’t need to alter their health record as evidence of the adoptive parent’s authority. Everything they need to achieve can be achieved without altering their health record. I don’t see why we need to change the law for that one small group of people. Leave their birth records alone. Let their adoption records be proof of their adoptions.

                  • “Well I think that one small group of people should be treated the same as the big large group of people. ”

                    They are treated exactly the same outside of their OBC being sealed. Their situations are different.

                  • Greg you think they are treated exactly the same because you think people stop being parents when their children are adopted by other people and so the amended certificate to you is all now perfectly real because they are the legal parents of the moment. It is not a certificate of legal parentage it truly is a medical record intended to identify the parents a person is the offspring of so that there is no possible further back you can go. Its important to go all the way back to know who your really are and who you are related to. It is a medical record as defined by the state of Washington and by Hippa, the CDC, DHS & DPH. Laws that allow it to be amended make it worthless for its stated purpose and for that reason those people are treated unequally. It’s not a real record of vital health the way it says it is and anyone whose is incorrect is at a distinct disadvantage over those whose information is correct. It is unequal treatment. That’s why adopted people have trouble getting pass ports and in their dealings with the federal government its not a real medical record. Its why they can’t reconcile births and deaths of adopted people, its not a real medical record, like its supposed to be. You and I and the rest of the population are funding efforts to reconcile all the fake records to the real ones which means none of those people were treated equally. Equal treatment would be to require absolute accuracy and then leave them alone. Prove adoptive status on a separate document. That way being adopted does not alter their treatment or rights in other areas. Access to the original birth certificate is not good enough because the new one is a false representation of who the adoptive parents are in relation to the adopted child its a medical record that has been tampered with.and it does not say so anywhere on it. Did you know it was optional to have a new certificate issued? It’s up to you as an adoptive parent to do or not do it. Yup that’s right its a choice. A choice the adoptive parent should not have. They should not have the right to alter the facts on someone’s medical record because it will far outlast the 18 years where they might find it more convenient than showing two pieces of paper the birth certificate and the adoption decree. So even though there are good respectful adoptive parents who don’t alter birth records its still something the law allows for and that is what I want to put a stop to because its not equal for the adopted person.

                  • See again for you it’s that you want non biological parents it be lesser than biological parents. It has nothing to do with equal rights for you because if it was you’d have no issue with parentage being removed from a birth certificate. Your agenda is clear.

                  • “So even though there are good respectful adoptive parents who don’t alter birth records its still something the law allows for and that is what I want to put a stop to because its not equal for the adopted person.”

                    Well I want to stop bigoted people like yourself who have nefarious agenda’s against non biological parents and non biological families.

    • I think your reaction is not uncommon. I don’t think it is surprising that no state has even really seriously considered this, at least as far as I know. But it is an alternative to the presumption.

  2. julie why do you think the marital presumption is archaic? since you don’t beleive that genetics is important, and the spouse is the most likely one to be acting as parent anyway.

    • Oh–I shouldn’t have said archaic. My bad. I’m going to go back and say “arguably archaic”–because what I meant was that some people think it is archaic (which is true, I think.)

  3. Also, why did you abandon your one-parent idea?

    • abandon one parent? when she do that?

    • I wouldn’t yet say I’ve abandoned it. But I think that it is often the case that the whole idea is that there should be two (or three?) equal parents from the very beginning and I wanted to think about ways to accomplish that. I also wanted to take into account some fairness concerns–where a person has really invested himself/herself in the parenting enterprise.

      All in all I’d say it’s a parallel experiment for the moment.

      • I love that you use this place as your lab to think through the various ways to achieve your goals. I love love love exercises in logic. I think the one parent at birth thing leaves it really important that the second person is somehow appointed and that should require some court stuff so everyone is aware of the appointment it does not just get forced on you as parent one or as potential parent 2 right? There are people other than the child with something to loose. We don’t want people slipping in and out of non-bio legal parenthood off the record because it’s just not safe or respectful of people’s free will. You went out of your way to secure your position in court it meant you stood up and said ‘this is what I want I’m choosing this I want to be here for these particular kids’. Presumably other people had to be on board with that as well nobody was ramrodded. It’s just good sound ethical decision making as far as I’m concerned. If your not creating your own obligation from scratch and creating a dependent person for yourself to care for then many other people’s boundaries have to be taken into consideration. If you don’t do it in court the rug could get pulled out from under you and the kids and there is never a good time to have the rug pulled.

  4. Please, I request that you either cease the type of uncivil tone found in your blow comments. I have cut and pasted in case you are unclear as to what I mean when I find your tone uncivil and personally attacking.

    If you wish, I will promise to not respond to any of your comments. And in turn, you may avoid responding to any of my comments. Would you prefer this agreement?

    If you cannot do either of these things, please let me know. Life is too short. I enjoy academic discussions, but I find emotional personal attacks disturbing.

    “they made it that far not protected from parental abuse and trafficking and the like. What are you thinking?”

    “She is totally fine with children not having any human rights civil rights no legal expectation not to be bought or sold. She’s cool with private behind closed door sales prior to birth so that whoever buys the title gets to write their name down and take the kid when her or she is born. So long as they are not picking cotton its not a human rights abuse. Don’t keep track of kid’s being born or who they have a right to be taken care of by so you won’t know if any go missing and die from abuse or neglect”

    • Marilynn,

      You should give me the courtesy of a response to my above requests.

      Marilynn wrote:
      “She is totally fine with children not having any human rights civil rights…”

      If you are going to continue this type of personal post aimed at me, I would like you to do me the courtesy of telling me so.

      I would like the courtesy of a warning that this behaviour will not cease.

      • Sorry I slept last night I have not gone through what all requests you had. I’ll check. Sure I’ll give you the courtesy of a response. I might from time to time draw upon the content of posts by people who comment here as a reference for the opinions that advance the property based treatment of minors and adults who have been separated from their families and as a reference for opinions that display a resistance to eliminating legal disparities in their treatment compared to the broader population. It’s not super personal I’m one of the few who uses my real name I don’t know who you are Tess. Your just an opinion floating out in space.

        • The separating of families doesn’t include the non biological families you routinely break a part. I believe in Karma. So you better watch out. What goes around comes around. I believe that one day you will get what is coming to you.

        • You do act quite personally and oddly to some of my comments. It’s often out of nowhere, in response to some legal historical point.

          I cannot state a simple opinion about Ireland and its marriage laws without you accusing me of not believing in any civil rights for children. It was really odd. I don’t understand how your comment connected with any comment I had made in the thread.

          You don’t even believe your statements to me. (You wrote that I was against civil rights for children. Come on, you know that’s a lie. Am I against racial discrimination in schools? No, of course you don’t think that.)

          This is what I should have said in response to your post: LOL you be trolling.

          It would be nice if you either responded to me in a civil way.

          Clearly your interactions with me are not healthy or positive. Why don’t you simply not use my name in your comments? If you want to respond to the ideas in my posts — that’s great — but there is no need to respond to me by name. I will also agree to never respond to you by name.

          Are you good with this plan?

  5. yall need to get over yourselves. that wasn’t a personal post at all, its an attack on your position, albeit a misstatement of your position. are you tripping over the use of the singular pronoun here? gimme a break.

    • Kisarita,

      I find her tone to be uncivil.

      And, as I said, I am particularly distracted by historical mis-statements in regards to legal slavery. I suppose a historian of the Holocaust might react similarly to historical mis-statements about Nazi Germany.

      And yes, of course I should not respond. It’s a common trope on the internet to reduce every argument to “Nazis!” “The Holocaust!” and “Slavery!” There’s even a saying for it, “Godwin’s Law.” But her tone is uncivil, life is too short, and while the legal topics are fun to discuss, the personal tone is quite unpleasant.

      Clearly, internet popular blogs are not the place for me. And that’s ok. If you’re not personally bothered by it, that’s great. Different strokes for different folks. I just need to get someone who is technically adept to block the address of this blog so I’m no longer tempted.

      • well too bad cuz i find your posts interesting

        • well maybe i should have thought the better of it, but i used a slavery analogy myself in the next topic about studies.. i’ll go back an include a note that i didn’t mean to make a comparison in anyway.

          • Historically incorrect facts about the legal code bother me more then simple analogies. I understand it’s a rhetorical term that is commonly employed. Patrick Henry, for example: “Give me Liberty or Give me Death.” “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”

            Interestingly enough, Patrick Henry owned slaves, and wrote about how he could not imagine living without them for the “inconvenience.” “I am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living here without them.”

            There are so many misunderstandings about the history of slavery. I wish, as a society, we had a better understanding of the magnitude and atrocity of slavery.

            Anyways, it’s why I sound unhinged in the comments whenever slavery is brought up.

        • Thanks. It’s my responsibility for being triggered by it. As I said, I’m clearly not mature enough for the internet. I really admire Prof. Shapiro’s grace.

    • Ki,

      With all due respect Marilynn does this all the time to everyone. For her it’s not about engaging in a meaningful discussion it’s about shredding those she disagrees with. I would hate to lose Tess to these discussions because of Marilynn’s antics. Tess is a great poster in these discussions and brings more value than most people.

      So no Tess doesn’t need to get over herself Marilynn needs to treat others with respect.

    • I wouldn’t call it a misstatement. Thanks for the first half though

      • LOL you be trolling. #troll

        • I still don’t understand what this trolling word is all about. You are calling me names. I’ve heard it means people that argue on blogs but that is what everyone here does. All of you go to all the same blogs to talk about the same topics I do defending you positions. You are the same. I don’t call you names I take issue with your opinions. You are not being civil

          • Oh no? You accused Tess of being in favor of slavery, that isn’t name calling?

            • Greg,
              She also said that I don’t believe in “any human rights civil rights for children.”

              This was after I wrote something about Ireland’s marriage laws. I don’t have any idea what set her off, or what she’s talking about. Maybe she got angry because I mentioned that the birth certificate is a relatively recent public record? I dunno. I’ve got no idea what set her off this time.

              Once she flipped out at me when I mentioned that a woman I knew disowned her mother. I wasn’t interacting at her at all. That was when Julie cautioned that her tone was uncivil.

              I don’t know what she’s talking about in terms of commenting on other blogs. I’ve got a deadline coming up, so I’ve been limiting my internet reading for the last month or so.

              • Tess,

                I am so sorry. It’s absolutely disgusting. It comes down to her as a biological parent trying to propel herself as being superior to non biological parents. Plus she manipulates the donor conceived and adopted to have them misplace their anger and distract them.

                Good luck with your deadline. I hope all goes well for you.

                • I’m sorry — I should just ignore it as I end up derailing the thread. I’m going to step away from that sort of thing in the future. Engaging clearly isn’t productive.

                  From now on, I plan to simply ignore, or respond with LOL you be trolling.

                  • Don’t apologize. Sometimes it’s really hard to ignore when it’s so out there and attacks you.

                  • I’m apologizing because trolling doesn’t deserve a response.

                    I should have called out the trolling for what it was, and then ignored it, long ago. I have encouraged the behaviour.

            • Greg in response to your question. No.

          • LOL you be trolling. #slaveryholocaust #Godwin’sArgument

            RT @JoshBarro Jan 25 twitter “Never compare anything to slavery or the Holocaust, unless you’re comparing slavery to the Holocaust.”

            • What is all that gibberish code you just wrote? with the pound signs and the words jammed together? If you are trying to insult me or be a smart Alec, I need to at least understand what your saying so that I feel bad or stupid possibly embarrassed the way you intend. Sorry to have to ask for a break down on your insult again its just I’m taunted and called names so rarely I’m not familiar with the lingo.

              • The post isn’t for you, it’s to amuse the other commenters who get the twitter. You can look up Godwin’s law on wikipedia if you care.

          • urban dictionary, “troll”

            “One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument”

            And…that would be you.

          • You live a very interesting imaginative life on the internet. I’ve been chained to my computer writing for the last month. Lately the only blog I post on is this one.

            • I was responding to this: “All of you go to all the same blogs to talk about the same topics I do defending you positions. You are the same.”

              I’ve been busy the last month, and not on blogs posting, aside from this one. I dunno what you are talking about.

              • Good for you for taking a month off. Don’t act like you have not been a prolific poster on other boards over the years. You have been quite spirited actually.

                If you had come back saying that you don’t think humans and parental title over them should be the stuff of commerce or charity out of respect for the individuals freedom, I’d say I was wrong about you but you have not so I won’t.

                • #troll

                  “So the next time you find yourself reeling over a particularly hateful comment on your favorite website, take some comfort in knowing that you’re just another anonymous pawn in the internet troll’s game. They’ve got some serious personal issues going on that they might not even realise.”

                  • You’re delusional. l’ve never run into you prior to this last spring/summer, and I’ve mostly seen you on this blog.

              • “Don’t act like you have not been a prolific poster on other boards over the years. You have been quite spirited actually.”

                Why am I in the center of your madness?

                I’ve never seen the handle “Marilynn” prior to this last spring/summer. Frankly, I’m creeped out.

          • Trolling study:

            Greg, you interact with her a lot. You may want to read it.

            “Trolling enjoyment was very strongly associated with a sadistic personality, and was also correlated with Machiavellianism and psychopathy. In fact, further statistical analysis revealed that most of the Dark Tetrad correlations with internet trolling were because of overlap with sadism.”

            http://www.theguardian.com/science/head-quarters/2014/feb/25/internet-trolls-are-also-real-life-trolls

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