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Old 19th November 2020, 05:14 AM   #1
Darat
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Birth certificates - what do we need on them?

This came up in another thread so rather than derailing that thread any further I thought I’d start a new thread for the discussion.


Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
Yeah, seems to me the parentage listed on the birth certificate has long been one of the things that’s more about a social role and often not about a biological reality. Factors like “genetic testing isn’t done” and “fertility donors aren’t listed” means the birth certificate has always been more of ‘a lead to follow up when trying to discover,’ than ‘a document of,’ genetic parentage for the kid on it.

But we do need a strong public understanding that you need to be bringing genetic facts with you when you rock up at the genetic disease test doctors.
A lot of the impetus for the evolution of birth certificates came from registration of a birth for the purpose of taxation, property rights and inheritance rights. Oh and military conscription. You can see this with the classical definition of a bastard, the father could be known but not on the official record therefore meaning the bastard could not make a claim on their father nor on his estate after he died but the birth would still be registered. (But if you could raise a big army you could make a strong argument that you should inherit- looking at you Mr Tudor!)

Even further back Romans were quite blasé about the actual biological parentage, if a bloke said a kid was his that was enough and by law it became his kid. (Noting of course that a Roman woman couldn’t do the same...)

So yes birth certificate and what is recorded on them are very much a societal creation.

I could see these days reviewing what is the important information required and how we label it.

In terms of labels I’d say it doesn’t matter if my father was labelled as “Y DNA provided by” or some such label as it doesn’t alter anything.

Personally I don’t think it matters having mother or father (or other labels) on a birth certificate, it is after all meant to be a record that officially establishes me as a citizen with rights.

Perhaps we should deal with parentage separately to birth certificates, it is what we do after all in adoptions.

One of the reasons sometimes given for including mother and father is that the knowledge of father and mother is needed for medical reasons especially inheritable diseases and conditions but there is a degree of uncertainty in that, it seems to be agreed that between 1 in 25 and 1 in 50 fathers in the UK are not who appears on the birth certificate and the fathers do not know this. (There will also be a number of fathers who know they aren’t the biological father but for many different reasons agree to be recorded as the father on a birth certificate.) So as Lithrael said we don’t require actual proof that the correct parents are recorded so at best it is a “probable” parent.

I’d also say that given our ever improving understanding of disease and conditions and how they relate to our genetic code it probably these days makes more sense to rely on the persons actual DNA rather than the “hearsay” of a birth certificate.
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Old 19th November 2020, 05:28 AM   #2
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Like you say, a birth certificate is a reflection of legal determination, not biological fact.

It's hard to speak in sweeping terms here. At least in the US, how birth certificates are recorded varies state by state.

Birth certificates are about legal rights, not a reflection biological reality. There are plenty of places where it is perfectly acceptable and common for someone who is known not to be the father to be listed as the father.

Birth certificates aren't really medical records, they are legal records used for establishing the legal connections of families and establishing citizenship and so on.
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Old 19th November 2020, 06:24 AM   #3
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Well, obviously forged ones in Hawaii allow Kenyans to become Presidents.

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Old 19th November 2020, 08:32 AM   #4
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Of course you need a birth certificate! How else can you prove that you were born?



I stole that from Will Rogers.
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Old 19th November 2020, 12:33 PM   #5
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There are only a couple of reasons you need one as proof here.

Applying for NZ citizenship and wanting to legally change your name (They update them to stop dodgy people trying to hide under a different name)

You don't even need one for a passport now.
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Old 19th November 2020, 03:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Like you say, a birth certificate is a reflection of legal determination, not biological fact.

Birth certificates are about legal rights, not a reflection biological reality. There are plenty of places where it is perfectly acceptable and common for someone who is known not to be the father to be listed as the father.

Birth certificates aren't really medical records, they are legal records used for establishing the legal connections of families and establishing citizenship and so on.
But it would be nice if such records were (a reflection of biological reality) for future researchers - including the (step-) parents raising the child (there is evidence that gene variants not transmitted to children may still have effects).

For example - say you were trying to find genetic variants associated with a pandemic that wiped the majority of a population hundreds of years ago, with limited skeletal material for DNA - having accurate pedigrees and survival records would make the study much easier.


Yes, I realize that such information could be abused, but at this point I'm more worried about that from companies rather than the govt.
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Old 19th November 2020, 05:10 PM   #7
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Simply slap the interlocutor with the afterbirth and tell them they can retrieve whatever DNA they care to from that. That should suffice for both proof of birth and identification, as well as bring interest and excitement to any holiday gathering.
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Old 19th November 2020, 05:26 PM   #8
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The more I think about it*, the more I think that the main purpose of the birth certificate is to provide an official record of the start of your existence. Someone of your name and description, with at least one known ancestor and one assumed ancestor, came into the country on such and such a date, in front of so-and-so reputable witness.

---
*Which is admittedly not much and I plan to stop soon.
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Old 19th November 2020, 07:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
There are only a couple of reasons you need one as proof here.

Applying for NZ citizenship and wanting to legally change your name (They update them to stop dodgy people trying to hide under a different name)

You don't even need one for a passport now.
That's interesting. Does that mean that you present some other ID, or that official records are so extensive that the government already knows who you are, or what? I doubt they just take your word for everything.
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Old 19th November 2020, 09:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
There are only a couple of reasons you need one as proof here.

Applying for NZ citizenship and wanting to legally change your name (They update them to stop dodgy people trying to hide under a different name)

You don't even need one for a passport now.
I needed to provide a copy of mine to get my security clearance.
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Old 19th November 2020, 10:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
That's interesting. Does that mean that you present some other ID, or that official records are so extensive that the government already knows who you are, or what? I doubt they just take your word for everything.
The government has created an app called realme.

If you Google realme nz it comes up.kind of an Uber identifier.

On phone but think it is realme.govt.nz
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Old 19th November 2020, 10:17 PM   #12
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Back in, I think, the 80s some time there was a push to create a universal ID which would have been known as the Australia Card. People saw it as a bit authoritarian and it never happened. Personally I think a common universal ID would be a useful thing to have.
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Old 19th November 2020, 10:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Back in, I think, the 80s some time there was a push to create a universal ID which would have been known as the Australia Card. People saw it as a bit authoritarian and it never happened. Personally I think a common universal ID would be a useful thing to have.
I agree.... (depending on the info on it and who sees it obviously)

Would make donor wishes easier if nothing else.

Sorry that was a bit of a side track.

Just always been a have to be an opt out of being an organ donor over opt in.
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I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102 , Jul 2, 2000
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Old 20th November 2020, 03:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Louden Wilde View Post
But it would be nice if such records were (a reflection of biological reality) for future researchers - including the (step-) parents raising the child (there is evidence that gene variants not transmitted to children may still have effects).



For example - say you were trying to find genetic variants associated with a pandemic that wiped the majority of a population hundreds of years ago, with limited skeletal material for DNA - having accurate pedigrees and survival records would make the study much easier.





Yes, I realize that such information could be abused, but at this point I'm more worried about that from companies rather than the govt.
Surely that would be risky given that we know a significant number of fathers are not the biological father and that also many places, including the UK details of the father are not required. It would seem for the benefit you would use a birth certificate we'd have to make the father's details compulsory and also require maternity and paternity tests before the birth could be registered.
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Old 20th November 2020, 05:23 PM   #15
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Footprints! Little baby footprints!
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Old 20th November 2020, 05:24 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The more I think about it*, the more I think that the main purpose of the birth certificate is to provide an official record of the start of your existence. Someone of your name and description, with at least one known ancestor and one assumed ancestor, came into the country on such and such a date, in front of so-and-so reputable witness.

---
*Which is admittedly not much and I plan to stop soon.
I just checked my birth certificate.

It has an expiry date.

Should I be worried?
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Old 20th November 2020, 05:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Back in, I think, the 80s some time there was a push to create a universal ID which would have been known as the Australia Card. People saw it as a bit authoritarian and it never happened. Personally I think a common universal ID would be a useful thing to have.
A photo drivers licence is sufficient for identification.

Each state and territory have a proof of identification card for any who don’t have a driver’s licence.

Nothing further should be required by the State.

We all should go out of our way to block any attempts by Dutton to increase and expand the already overreaching powers of the Dept of Home Affairs.
I watch the growth of this in England and opposed their attempt at an ID card there too.

Here is a disturbing list of the most surveilled cities in the world.
Unsurprisingly the majority of the top 15 are in China.
London and Sydney come in at 6 and 15 respectively, ahead of Moscow.

And no, I don’t buy in to Consiracy Theories, nor am I a Libertarian.
I just don’t trust our government, and especially Dutton, to act in our best interests, only theirs.
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Old 20th November 2020, 10:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
A photo drivers licence is sufficient for identification.

Each state and territory have a proof of identification card for any who don’t have a driver’s licence.

Nothing further should be required by the State.

We all should go out of our way to block any attempts by Dutton to increase and expand the already overreaching powers of the Dept of Home Affairs.
I watch the growth of this in England and opposed their attempt at an ID card there too.

Here is a disturbing list of the most surveilled cities in the world.
Unsurprisingly the majority of the top 15 are in China.
London and Sydney come in at 6 and 15 respectively, ahead of Moscow.

And no, I don’t buy in to Consiracy Theories, nor am I a Libertarian.
I just don’t trust our government, and especially Dutton, to act in our best interests, only theirs.
I would love it if we could have one card that replaced
- driver's licence
- medicare card
- library card
- bank cards
- membership cards
- public transport cards

Then instead of every organisation knowing our name and contact details, only one organisation has this information.
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Old 21st November 2020, 02:12 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I would love it if we could have one card that replaced
- driver's licence
- medicare card
- library card
- bank cards
- membership cards
- public transport cards
nearly there.
It is called Apple wallet.

Qld and NSW is gearing up to introduce digital licenses for phone storage.
I admit, these days I have to remember to take my wallet with me when I go shopping, cos that is where my licence is, but most of my transactions are via phone.
Quote:
Then instead of every organisation knowing our name and contact details, only one organisation has this information.
Yes, then hackers only need to target one server,
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Old 21st November 2020, 03:42 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
This came up in another thread so rather than derailing that thread any further I thought I’d start a new thread for the discussion.




A lot of the impetus for the evolution of birth certificates came from registration of a birth for the purpose of taxation, property rights and inheritance rights. Oh and military conscription. You can see this with the classical definition of a bastard, the father could be known but not on the official record therefore meaning the bastard could not make a claim on their father nor on his estate after he died but the birth would still be registered. (But if you could raise a big army you could make a strong argument that you should inherit- looking at you Mr Tudor!)

Even further back Romans were quite blasé about the actual biological parentage, if a bloke said a kid was his that was enough and by law it became his kid. (Noting of course that a Roman woman couldn’t do the same...)

So yes birth certificate and what is recorded on them are very much a societal creation.

I could see these days reviewing what is the important information required and how we label it.

In terms of labels I’d say it doesn’t matter if my father was labelled as “Y DNA provided by” or some such label as it doesn’t alter anything.

Personally I don’t think it matters having mother or father (or other labels) on a birth certificate, it is after all meant to be a record that officially establishes me as a citizen with rights.

Perhaps we should deal with parentage separately to birth certificates, it is what we do after all in adoptions.

One of the reasons sometimes given for including mother and father is that the knowledge of father and mother is needed for medical reasons especially inheritable diseases and conditions but there is a degree of uncertainty in that, it seems to be agreed that between 1 in 25 and 1 in 50 fathers in the UK are not who appears on the birth certificate and the fathers do not know this. (There will also be a number of fathers who know they aren’t the biological father but for many different reasons agree to be recorded as the father on a birth certificate.) So as Lithrael said we don’t require actual proof that the correct parents are recorded so at best it is a “probable” parent.

I’d also say that given our ever improving understanding of disease and conditions and how they relate to our genetic code it probably these days makes more sense to rely on the persons actual DNA rather than the “hearsay” of a birth certificate.
What we need on them is derived from 'what do we need them for?'

As far as I can tell they are more or less just used as a basic ID which records who the hell you are at the point of your birth.

As you say, fathers details are unconfirmed so it's not a biological record of anything. Plus gender and name can be amended.

So really it's just a record of 'this person was born on this date to this mother'

I'm not really sure what the point of them is anymore to be honest. I think it's just to start a formal record of you as a person in 'the system'
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Old 21st November 2020, 09:20 AM   #21
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Although outdated bureaucracy attempts to use the things as a form of identification (which wouldn't really work unless they compared what you showed them to a copy they obtain themselves from whatever state you got it from) functionally it's really no more than a receipt affirming that at the point of birth the authorities were informed you exist. It represents that your official paperwork started, it doesn't prove you are the individual it's about.
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Old 21st November 2020, 02:18 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
<snip>
Yes, then hackers only need to target one server,
This is better than giving hackers a choice of servers. any one of which would have our information.
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Old 21st November 2020, 02:46 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
A photo drivers licence is sufficient for identification.

Each state and territory have a proof of identification card for any who don’t have a driver’s licence.

Nothing further should be required by the State.

We all should go out of our way to block any attempts by Dutton to increase and expand the already overreaching powers of the Dept of Home Affairs.
I watch the growth of this in England and opposed their attempt at an ID card there too.

Here is a disturbing list of the most surveilled cities in the world.
Unsurprisingly the majority of the top 15 are in China.
London and Sydney come in at 6 and 15 respectively, ahead of Moscow.

And no, I don’t buy in to Consiracy Theories, nor am I a Libertarian.
I just don’t trust our government, and especially Dutton, to act in our best interests, only theirs.
Had to renew my drivers license last year. You've got a choice of "Standard", "Real ID" and "Enhanced"

NY Department of Motor Vehicles: Which ID is right for me?

I went for the "Enhanced" as I sometimes have to fly for work and figured if I've got to go with at least the "Real ID" to board a domestic flight after October 1st 2021. I might as well just go with the "Enhanced", just in case we get a customer out in the Carribean. As expected, I needed my birth certificate, unfortunately the one I had was not "official" since it lacked the county, or whatever, seal. So I had to send for an official copy, wasn't bad did all of that online, but the projected return date was basically the week my current license would have expired. Fortunately, it came in right on time and I didn't have to get a "Standard" as a stop gap.
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Old 21st November 2020, 05:17 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
This is better than giving hackers a choice of servers. any one of which would have our information.
I worry enough about incompetence and maliciousness of our own government when it comes to data abuse.

One word: RoboDebt.

As to hacking, with separation of identity data, if one server is hacked, only partial ID data is exposed. Also, there is a potential “HDDs up” servers are being targeted, perhaps giving other data storage firms/locations to increase security.

If all your identification data is stored on a single server, one breach exposes all the data in one hit.

In the CyberAttack League World Cup, Australia comes in at 6th.
Starting in 2010 with a hack attempt on Rio Tinto, the listed Australian incidents show a decade-long pattern of cyber espionage targeting mining companies, Defence contractors, and government agencies.

Ten years ago, the Australian Signals Directorate warned of a spike in attacks on Australian government and business systems – a warning that was repeated by the Prime Minister last month.

In the decade that followed, hackers stole the blueprints for the new Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) headquarters, tried to hack the plans for Australia’s new submarine fleet, successfully attacked the Bureau of Meteorology, breached the Australian National University twice, and broke into Australia’s parliamentary networks.
See also Cyberwatch Australia for more.
Some of the breaches are not due to hackers (use the tag “hacked” on the site for them) but idiots in charge of servers broadcasting personal information by accident.
There are multiple examples of that on page one of the site.
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Old 22nd November 2020, 08:18 PM   #25
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Sweden no longer has "birth certificates" in the British/American sense. Instead people are given a personal ID number after birth by the Taxation Agency, which also stores things like ones registered residence.
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Old 24th November 2020, 03:42 AM   #26
Darat
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Sweden no longer has "birth certificates" in the British/American sense. Instead people are given a personal ID number after birth by the Taxation Agency, which also stores things like ones registered residence.
Given the history of birth certificates I’d say Sweden sounds as if it has gone backwards to get to what they were originally intended for.

ETA: Spoke too soon:

https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issu...gistration.pdf

Much more complicated, however to me it seems overall a sensible system, deals with several what I perceive to be flaws with the UK system.
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Last edited by Darat; 24th November 2020 at 03:53 AM.
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