Here we go again. Last time this happened it was a lesbian couple in NJ. Now, a New Orleans judge has ruled in favor of a gay (male) couple in requiring that the LA Office of Vital Records list the names of the 2 men who adopted a boy on the boy’s birth certificate as his legal parents.
I understand completely what they’re trying to do, here, but this is a stupid move on the part of the Court. Our species requires 2 genders to reproduce. As I said back in 2006, there are medical procedures that allow for a sexless conception, but there is absolutely a male parent and a female parent and those are the people who should be listed on a birth certificate. I explained the rationale in my last post on this topic:
Birth certificates are part of a set of documents called “vital records” and that’s no misnomer. Such a certificate provides a wealth of data, including the names of both parents. To purposely misidentify or omit a parent from that document will literally chop off an entire half of the child’s family tree.
And lest anyone jump up and say that the biological father’s family isn’t really family in this case or that knowledge of who he is is immaterial, allow me to remind that someone that medical history is a tricky thing to compute when you don’t have half the data. The father’s family might have a history of stroke or heart disease, specific cancers, or some kind of birth defect. Even if this child doesn’t suffer some defect personally, the risk will be carried by him or her into their own married life. The line of children to come (we assume) will deserve to be able to judge the risks based on the full picture. That’s a picture that’s being purposely cut in half on the altar of political correctness and expediency.
There are children all over the country whose loving parents aren’t the couple that produced them. They have a name on their birth certificate of someone who’s not relevant in their lives in any manner except genetically and they’re just fine. This action on the part of these 2 women isn’t being done with the child’s future in mind. There are ways to accommodate their legal needs without the vanity of seeing their own names on this child’s birth certificate. And vanity is all this is.
That was true then and it’s true now. There are all manner of methods to provide official documentation of the status of a given person, place, or thing. That it’s somehow “necessary” that the birth certificate of an American citizen be altered or issued with information on it that’s patently incorrect is pure bunk. It’s a play to the ego of the adoptive parents and a bending of the rules just to make things easier on them to make the system work like they want it to. I hope someone’s actually thinking about the kid in this case and is making an archive ofthe real information so it’ll be available down the road when he needs it.
As I was getting ready for church this morning and affixing my US flag lapel pin to my jacket, I happened to look closer into the tin I keep my various pins in and took notice of a pin I’ve carried around parts of northern Ohio and northern Virginia for somewhere around 30 years. As I studied the design and the motto at the bottom of the pin I realized that while I suspected it was military in nature, I really had no idea what it signified. I think I got it from my older brother, but where he acquired it from or why is completely unknown to me. Upon my return home, I brought it down to my computer with me this morning and did a search on the motto shown at the bottom in this picture:
“Coelis Imperamus” means “We Rule the Heavens.” Interesting.
This insignia is that of the US Army’s 60th Artillery Regiment, known at various times also as the 60th Air Defense Regiment, or ADA. The 60th apparently has a long career, beginning back in 1898 and serving at various times as coastal defense in New York, New Jersey, and Florida. They were deployed in WWI in France and, after several reorganizations, wound up on the island of Corregidor at the mouth of Manila Bay. It was there that they defended the island against the Japanese in WWII and there that the unit was forced to surrender in May 1942.
The modern 60th was reformed in 1958 as a Nike-Ajax anti-aircraft missile brigade.
All very fascinating, but why do I have one of their insignia? I have an ancestor whose records show was enlisted in the Army in the late stages of WWI. I know he was trained as an artillerist but I don’t know the unit. Could this have been his? Is it possible I’ve been lugging around a piece of my ancestor’s legacy all these years and not known it? One of life’s little mysteries, I’m afraid, but I’m not done with this one yet. More to come if I find it.
To that end, if anyone can tell me if the 60th ADA is still an active unit I’d appreciate it!
There have been a number of stories in the news lately about more stringent ID requirements coming down the road for all of us. (This morning’s story at the Washington Times has reminded me of this.) Whether we’re talking about boarding a plane or coming back in-country across the border or getting one of the projected new driver’s licenses one thing remains the same: you need more than your word and a smile to prove your identity. For all of these reasons and many more, you should act now to get official copies of your vital records.
Uh, Ric… what the heck are “vital records?”
Glad you asked. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, one of my big hobbies is researching my family’s genealogy. The gold standard of documentation regarding an ancestor’s birth, death, marriage, divorce, etc., are official government or church documents pertaining to the event. These documents (e.g., a birth certificate) are collectively referred to as “vital records.” They contain the information about a person’s “vitals”, a term used to describe events like those I’ve mentioned. For virtually everyone born in the United States past 1950, vital records are on file with the state in which that person was born, died, married, etc. That means the state you were born in has a record of your birth.
I am recommending that each and every one of you go – today – and check to see whether you have a government-issued copy of your own birth certificate. (If you’re married and/or have kids, check for your spouse’s and kids’ certificate, too.) If you can lay your hands on said document, you’re golden.
If you cannot, however, and that means whether you know you don’t have one or “just can’t find it right now,” you should take action to get one right away. Every state has an agency that holds the vital records repository. Sometimes that agency is actually called the “Vital Records Department” but often it’s a part of the Public Health Department. Contact that agency to get the copies you need.
Now, I was about to tell you to get on-line and Google the term “vital records xx” (where the “xx” is the 2-letter identifier for your state) and follow the link that comes up. I found something way better. At the web site of (of all places) the CDC, there’s a set of pages that lists the contact information for every state’s vital records repository. Find that set at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/howto/w2w/w2welcom.htm and select the state of your birth to get the info. The contact information, the costs, the document requirements, etc., are all there.
You’d be well served to handle this now, before you need to have the copies in your hands. When these new ID laws actually get implemented, the crush to get these documents is going to be huge. Avoid the rush and get them now.
One other related item is the matter of a passport. If you’ve got one, check the expiration date on it and verify it’s still good. This is another document that takes time to get through channels so it’s best to get it handled before you actually need it. They’re valid for 10 years once renewed, so it’s well worth the effort.