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Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Old Feb 28th 2011, 10:20 pm
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Default Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Hi again,

I posted a while back when I was in hospital in Philadelphia. My partner and I came to the US on 23rd Dec to visit his brother and family for ten days over Christmas. I was 28 weeks pregnant at the time. My waters broke on 27th Dec and I ended up in hospital on bedrest. We managed to get to 34 weeks before our baby was born on the 12th Feb, still six weeks premature. We're now staying with his family over two months since we arrived in the US.

The issue we now have is getting home! To obtain an American or UK passport we need the locally issued Birth Certificate and it needs to be in my partners name to match the Social Security number, which came amazingly quickly through the post. The hospital sent all the papers including the paternity form but a lady today at Vital Records said they hadn't been filed yet.

We are going round and round chasing people at the Vital Records Dept to try to get the Birth Certificate expedited but are having no luck. The British Embassy have made contact with us but are unable to help in this matter. Currently we are looking at another couple of months before the cetificate is issued and I am just so desperate to get home, especially now with our baby to care for.

The travel insurance company could fly us home in a matter of days if we only had the passport.

I wondered if anyone has any knowledge of this type of situation or any ideas on getting the certificate issued quickly for us? Anyone friends with the director of Vital Records in Philly??

Just thought I'd ask but I'm not holding out much hope.... Thanks for any help or advice you can offer though.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Has the hospital actually sent the paperwork in so that Vital records can issue a birth certificate?
I had to go back to the hospital and down to the basement to the records department and ask for my first childs paperwork, turned out the papers were sat on someones desk, they had been meaning to call and ask me about the name spelling. So I verified that, then they sent them in and one week later I went to the Vital records building and they issued the birth certificate there and then. I was waiting to apply for a US passport so we could travel to UK.
If the papers were sent in for certain, I'd be calling those people daily and make the occasional trip down there, cry if you have to, tell them the medical insurance is waiting to fly the prem baby home to UK and you need it for the passport. Some one is bound to be sympathetic, if not, take it higher up.

Last edited by Mummy in the foothills; Feb 28th 2011 at 10:46 pm.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 10:48 pm
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Just wanted to say congrats, I was wondering how you got on.
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Old Mar 1st 2011, 12:27 am
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Just wanted to say congrats, I was wondering how you got on.
Ditto on both counts! Sorry, no useful info to add, but I hope you all get home soon. You must be pretty tired of your American 'holiday' by now...
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Old Mar 1st 2011, 12:56 am
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Just wanted to add my congrats too
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Old Mar 1st 2011, 2:24 am
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Congrats.

Afraid I don't know the specifics of the Philly system, but in DC I was able to go to the 'Hall of Records' or whatever, show them some ID and get a copy of my son's birth certificate in about 20 minutes. I can't imagine it would take a few months in Philly.

Was your child born in the city itself or in a suburb? Could it make a difference in which department their paperwork was sent? Was the paperwork filed before he had an SSN? Might be confusing for them if they are searching based on a number but the paperwork was filed without an SSN.

Have you tried going down there in person?

--------------------->

You can also request a copy in-person at the public office of the Division of Vital Statistics in Philadelphia located at 110 North 8th St., Suite 108. The offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Read more: How do I Get a Birth Certificate From Philadelphia, Pensylvania in Philadelphia County? | eHow.co.uk http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_6865730_do...#ixzz1FJZ3M7Zz
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Old Mar 1st 2011, 2:46 am
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

when i had a home birth they gave me the bits of paperwork and i just took them into them office and they did the form while we waited.
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Old Mar 2nd 2011, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Hi, thanks for your congrats! It was all a bit traumatic but the little man is doing really well.

We are going to go into the birth records office in Philly on Friday just to see if we can speak to a real live person. We've also got an appointment with immigration to try to overstay the tourist visa. I'm tempted to ask them to deport us all as illegal aliens but they might keep Thomas!

Still no luck talking to anyone about the certificate. We do have the SSN - I thought these were related somehow? It's made more complicated by the fact that we want to use my partners surname ( we're not married ) and had to file paternity papers as well as the other bits.

Thanks for your advice. I'll let you know how we get on.
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 1:17 am
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Congratulations, and welcome to Thomas! Well done all of you. Sorry, no useful advice, but hope all works out quickly and as painlessly as possible for you so you can get home. You must be really sick of being here.
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Originally Posted by Southsearocks View Post
Still no luck talking to anyone about the certificate. We do have the SSN - I thought these were related somehow? It's made more complicated by the fact that we want to use my partners surname ( we're not married ) and had to file paternity papers as well as the other bits.

The SSN is a federal identification number.
The birth certificate is a state or even local government number.

Different offices--different entities--different governments basically. The birth certificate is usually required to get an SSN however. The paternity/non-married is a bit more complicated but not at all uncommon so they'll have a procedure for dealing with that.
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Originally Posted by White-ishRose View Post
Congratulations, and welcome to Thomas! Well done all of you. Sorry, no useful advice, but hope all works out quickly and as painlessly as possible for you so you can get home. You must be really sick of being here.
Hi, I can't say I'm sick of the US because I haven't seen anything of it except the airport, hospital, and in-laws home! Oh, and Target and Babies R Us . One day we'll return, if we can get back in, and see bit more of Thomas's homeland. But right now, yes indeed I am ready to fly.......
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

I wonder if it would be worth trying to see if someone from the congressman's office for Philly could apply some pressure to relevant people in order to get this moving along? I'd say it's worth a shot, maybe have a relative go with you.

I think this is your guy, but ask your family there to be sure. http://www.brady.house.gov/
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Why can't you get a temporary "white" type passport from the British Consulate for the baby? You could probably be able to use the hospital birth certificate and both of your passports to get it. If there is a problem with the descendency of citizenship for the British passport, why can't you get a white passport for him from the US Passport office?
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Depending on how pushy you feel, here's some alternate ideas.. I think if I were sitting around all day I might like writing a bunch of passionate emails about the plight of my little preemie and how wonderfully you've been taken care of by the bosom of the US, including Homeland Security and everyone has been so nice and now you're eager to get bub home but are being told it will be months before the bureaucracy can process his certificate of birth <gasp for some breath there..>
(these are probably in reverse order of what I would try)

In other words, make some noise. You've got nothing to lose.

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Old Mar 5th 2011, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Brits stuck in Philadelphia with prem baby - advice re Birth Certificate/passport

Hi,

Yes, I did ask the lady from the Embassy about an emergency passport but they only do them for people who already have a passport and have had it lost or stolen, although I think it changes from country to country.

Thanks for your suggestions and info. I did fire off some emails but will keep these in mind. I was eventually and by a bit of luck able to talk to a chap at Vital Records and the short of it is they are sending out the birth certificate! Initially he had trouble finding any record of it but when he did he got a woman to call me back who said she would send it the next day but it wouldn't have my partners name on it. However she said this shouldn't be a problem when applying for the passport.

It turns out that the paternity papers we filled out in the hospital, which formally names my partner as the dad, are send to a different office and these take five weeks to process. It then goes back to the birth records office so that they can add the unmarried father's name to the birth certificate. So what we can do is get his name added at a later date.

It should arrive on Monday so I'm hoping we can get a passport in person which should make it really quick. I'll let you know what happens for future ref in case anyone else has this problem!
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