Finally, Harley has a country

Finally a South African birth certificate

Since Harley was born, I have had a continual stress – she didn’t have a birth certificate. It was a real nightmare, and a bunch of you were awesome and helpful, tweeting at Home Affairs in the hopes of helping us out. It just kept dragging on, and I was getting worried that it might never get resolved. After the ladies in the hospital refused to help us, we escalated and moaned and tried all sorts of solutions. Home Affairs had a rule that the ladies in the hospital had to be the ones to help us, and with their refusal it was becoming an impossible situation.

After getting some help from the twitter manager for Home Affairs, and getting referred to a variety of managers, I got some advice that was similar to other advice I’ve gotten in different situations. Just go to Home Affairs and try to register. If they refuse, go back a different day and try with a different person. Just like when dealing with other service providers, it seems that some things are always possible depending on your interpretation of the rules, so you just need someone with an interpretation that works for you to help. Plus, my crazy American ability to speak to people in charge certainly helps.

So, after much back and forth, escalating and speaking to supervisors, filling in different forms and producing all kinds of documentation, Harley is a baby without a country no more. That’s right, she has her (unabridged) birth certificate and ID number. Now I can embark on the next bureaucratic task – getting Harley and Dean organized with American papers. Citizen born abroad and Green Card applications probably won’t be fun, but once they are done we can actually do that whole emigration thing like we’ve been talking about. It also means that we can start looking at jobs in the US of A. That’s a whole other, slightly daunting story…

But for now, I’m going to bask in the happiness of finally having a baby with a real identity. She finally exists on paper, which means we can travel with her, and generally just do more now. I’m so very relieved. Also, if any of you are having issues with Home Affairs, I highly recommend the Randburg office – they were very pleasant to deal with. Plus, if you need the details of the managers, I’m happy to pass them along; it seems once you speak to the right people, things finally get done. And thank you again to everyone who tweeted and shared my original post. You really did help make a stink and get me noticed by Home Affairs, and help get this issue resolved.


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