|Posted:||April 27, 2021 12:09 PM|
|From:||Representative Rick Krajewski and Rep. Mark Rozzi, Rep. Manuel Guzman, Jr., Rep. Danilo Burgos|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Allowing Minors to Access Their Birth Certificates|
|A birth certificate is an essential document. You need it to apply for a job, a passport, bank account, housing opportunities, a driver’s license, or receive services from the government or community-based organizations. You may need it access benefits or to apply to extracurricular programs. Unfortunately, accessing this vital record is often difficult for youth in the child welfare or juvenile justice system throughout our state. Without a birth certificate youth may stay in cycles of poverty and be at risk of incarceration and potentially violence.
Youth who are either homeless or disconnected from their families also face challenges with accessing their birth certificates. State laws blocks this population from being able to independently obtain their birth certificates. A lawyer may request a birth certificate on their behalf, however there are thousands of youth in need of their birth certificates who may not have access to this option.
Our goal as legislators should be to do whatever necessary to support the development of our children. Expanding the ability for a young person to access vital documents is critical for those youth that are disadvantaged.
Our legislation does three things to combat this issue:
1) First, it lowers the age limit for an individual from 18 years to 12 to apply for a copy of their birth certificate. Currently, an individual twelve years or older may apply for a copy of their Social Security card. We think it prudent to align receiving your birth certificate to this age limit.
2) Allows any homeless youth or foster youth, or a social service or community-based organization providing case management for a youth, to apply for and obtain a copy of their birth certificate without the signature, permission, or consent of a parent or guardian.
3) Waives the fee for obtaining a birth certificate copy for homeless and foster youth.
Join us in co-sponsoring this necessary legislation and help young people access their vital documents.
Introduced as HB1475