Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bill proposed in Illinois would withhold birth certificates If fathers are not listed

Salon (Feb. 25, 2016): Illinois Republicans target single mothers and their babies: GOP bill would ban birth certificates, financial aid if father is not named, by Sophia Tesfaye: 

Last week, Republican lawmakers introduced a bill providing that if a father is not listed on a newborn's birth certificate, a birth certificate will not be issued.  The the bill has been proposed as a way to limit the state's obligation for providing financial assistance.  In order to obtain a birth certificate: mothers would have to name a father within 30 day, a father must be conclusively established by DNA or another family member must accept financial responsibility for the child.  The bill's sponsor Rep. Jeanne Ives stated "You better know who the 'daddy' is and whether or not he can afford that child and whether or not taxpayers should be funding that or if there is actual child support he can provide."  

In addition to reflecting hostile attitudes towards poor and single mothers, by denying birth certificates, the bill would discriminate against children without a named father.  In addition to the denial of state benefits, lack of a birth certificate could prevent individuals from registering for school and obtaining important documents such as social security cards, passports, and drivers licenses.  

The bill appears to have been killed in the Democratic controlled Illinois House of Representatives.   It will be interesting to see if similar bills are introduced in other states.

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