Some things that you take for granted when giving birth in a hospital have to be given greater concern when having a home birth. For example, we had to take a special trip down to the Johnson County Health Department this afternoon to apply for Maggie Lu's birth certificate. My midwife said we needed to get some paperwork from the county to get this process rolling. I gave the department a call and was told to bring the baby, the daddy, and proof of residency. Since the main utility bills are in Stephen's parents' names, we were told to bring one of them along to confirm we lived in Johnson County.
So Stephen, Dianne, Maggie, and I went down to the county building to fill out a pretty lengthy form to make her legal. At some point, the clerk comes over to tell Stephen that if he wants his name on the birth certificate then we'll have to pay $50 to have a notarized document of paternity created. Of course, we had assumed that his name would be on the birth certificate. He IS the father.
Then the clerk went on to say that getting this document of paternity taken care of would assist with the process of applying for joint custody. She said this as if applying for joint custody was an obvious future step.
We asked if parents who deliver in hospitals also had to pay for this form. We didn't remember having to do this when we applied for D'arcy's birth certificate which took place in an Indiana hospital. She shrugged.
Long story short, we decided to pay the $50 bucks to have Stephen's name on the certificate. We assumed that the hospital must roll this fee into what they already charge. We finished filling out the original six page form, and she brought the paternity form for us to fill out. We began to fill it out, and then the clerk steps back to our table and asks us with surprise, "Are you two married?"
Uhhhhhh....yeah. What could have given it away? The diamond ring? The matching last names on our driver's license? She laughs and says that changes things. As long as we're married, nothing more needs to be done to put his name on the certificate. Are you kidding me?
Or wait. Maybe I'm kidding myself. Just because I'm approaching 30, have four kids, a mortgage, and an IRA doesn't mean that I can waltz into the health department with a baby, a lanky guy wearing a CAKE t-shirt and his mother and expect them to see anything more than a teenage mother, her baby, her boyfriend, and the mother they are all living with.