"Certificate of Live Birth and Parentage"

In this essay, one mother shares the story of her son's two birth certificates, one bearing her name, and another the birth mother's.

An amended birth certificate
It was what you would call a feel-good moment — typing my  six-year-old son's name into an online soccer registration form. The kind of moment that often accompanies a long-awaited arrival. We have arrived at the age when my younger son is old enough to play soccer. Old enough to mind the coach and kick the ball. Old enough to run laps in the same direction as the rest of the team. Old enough to be excited about the new ...

The document we receive is not called a Mothering Certificate, it’s a Certificate of Live Birth. So why isn’t the birth mother’s name on there?


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