Monday, January 11, 2010

Ebony's passport...and other things....

Today I finally received Ebony's passport. This has been a really difficult process. Many have experience NO problems at all but we did.
I waited and waited. The documents were lodged back in late October 09.
Finally I had a call from the Post Office saying that it had been rejected and that I needed to complete some sections. When I arrived at the PO I was stunned to find that they wanted me to fill in the section 'Mothers Name as listed on Birth Certificate'...and same for Father.
I had called the Passport Office when I completed the form because I was a bit unsure of what to do in some areas on the form. The lovely and very helpful young man on the other end of the form said 'do you mind holding the line a moment while I go and get the new procedures that have been put in place for children adopted from overseas?' I was impressed and thought that would be the end of it. I was told to leave the sections mentioned above blank.
I couldn't believe that they really wanted me to lie. There is no Birth Certificate for our girl and there never will be.
I decided to do as they asked, but I put in the following letter....

Dear Sir/Madam,

With respect,

Recently I decided to get my adopted daughter’s passport.

Having waited such a long time for her, I had much time to observe and listen to the stories of many others who have gone before me.

One of the many issues that seemed to arise was the complexity of getting a Passport.
When I made the decision to proceed with her Passport, I got the paperwork and then called the Passport Office to make sure that I filled in the form correctly.
I then lodged the form.

Some 5 weeks later I received a call from our local Post Office saying the form wasn’t completed correctly and needed to be changed.

I was a bit shocked to say the least because the lovely gentleman at the Passport Office (when I called previously) had asked me to hold while he got the paperwork that was now in place for children that are adopted from Overseas.

I thought that things had been put in place and now this wouldn’t be a problem.
When I went to the Post Office, I found that the person who has sent the form back from the Passport Office has done so because he/she wants us to fill in the section that says ‘Mothers name as shown on child’s birth certificate’ … and same for the Father.

I have done as requested – but I feel very sad that I now find myself having to lie – something I hoped never to have to do for my daughter whose past is already a mystery that she will have to deal with for many, many years to come.

There is no birth certificate and there never will be and I am not her birth mother, nor am I listed on a document that doesn’t exist.I find this very, very difficult to do.If it’s possible to proceed without having to lie – I would be much happier.If there isn’t then it leaves me sad and with nothing left to do except lie.I have done as asked, but hope that the original documents will actually suffice.

If you would like to discuss this, please don’t hesitate to do so. I can be contacted on 04XX XXX XXX.Kind regards,
Jen Boote

Then - on Christmas Eve morning I received a phone call from a truly lovely lady at the Passport Office. She was very empathetic and fully understood my concerns. Sadly, the only way I can get Ebony's passport is to do as I have. She was disappointed for me that the system actually fails these precious children and she obviously understood my heart to.

Anyway - it arrived today! I'm thrilled it's here and now I just let go of the 'bureaucracy' - just another hurdle in this beautiful child's history. Now I can celebrate that she has another document that shows her identity without me having to produce 'Abandonment certificate's' and the like!

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