With birth certificates and social security cards…
Question to Brenda:
What is the best way to help ex-Amish people adjust to American life when it comes to birth certificates and social security cards?
Answer from Brenda:
Offer to help the ex-Amish obtain a birth certificate and/or a social security number. The ones I know left without a birth certificate. To our government they were nonexistent. Since most Amish do home-births, parents may forgo filing a birth certificate.
This was the case of Josh (see my interview with him on my blog, http://brendanixononamish.blogspot.com/2013/02/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html). In these cases, the ex-Amish person must go to the county seat and pay for a new – or if there’s an existing – birth certificate.
This may be an arduous and time-consuming process. A Swartzentruber Amish man phoned me once asking if I could help his wife get her birth certificate. It seems she was born at home, in another state, and her mother never filed a birth certificate. The gal was now married and living in Ohio without any legal documentation. We had to contact her birth state, gather affidavits from the Amish relatives present at the birth – who’d be willing to sign an affidavit – and wait. If you’ve ever waded through legal paperwork you can appreciate the needed patience and diligence.
Likewise, applying for a social security number is a prerequisite for employment. It is illegal to employ anyone who doesn’t have a social security number. Even if you want to serve ex-Amish, you do them no favor if you model breaking our laws.
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