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Do you have your child's birth certificate?

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I knew where it had to be. Yes, I did have Cade’s birth certificate, or, at least that’s what I told the school officials as we planned for my 3-year-old to begin school.

But after sifting through stacks of papers, opening legal-sized envelopes, digging through my cedar chest and emptying drawers, I decided I really, truly had never ordered copies of Cade’s birth certificate.

I felt guilty, disorganized. Why hadn’t I taken care of this? But then I started thinking about some of the little obstacles we had to overcome when Cade was born, how he had to undergo light treatment for about a week for jaundice, how his blood had to be tested constantly for about two months because the numbers were not exactly where they were supposed to be, and how we had to go through a liver scan … We were a little busy.

And then, life kind of evened out. Trips to the hospital became less frequent, and we went on about our business, dealing with normal everyday “stuff.”

When I found my middle daughter’s birth certificate last week, guess what? I had ordered her’s right before she started school. … Maybe I wasn’t such a bad, forgetful mother, after all.

So, today, I went to the Oklahoma Department of Health and stood in line to get what I should have gotten a few years ago. It wasn’t a great experience, but it wasn’t so terribly awful either.

I stood in a long line – it was a Monday and other parents were having to enroll their kids, too, and they needed their children’s birth certificates. Yes, the man behind me carried on a colorful conversation peppered with every expletive you could imagine on his cell phone, and after standing in that line, I had to stand in another line to pay … and then I had to wait for my number to be called. But the people assisting everyone were friendly.

And then it was done. I had my son’s birth certificate – four copies – you never know when you’re going to need an extra.

So, here’s some advice. If you have children and you haven’t gotten their birth certificates, go ahead and take care of that today. You can mail in your request or you can go to the Health Department, 1000 NE 10th St. If you go in person, print off the form ahead of time, fill it out, and then all you have to do is step into line. You won’t have to worry that you’ve forgotten information or misplaced your ID, because you’ll already know you need it.

And, then, when you enroll your kids in school, and someone asks if you have their birth certificates, you can say, “Yes,” and know that it’s true.    - Linda

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Linda Lynn

Linda Lynn was born and raised in rural Oklahoma. A graduate of Purcell High School, Lynn began working at The Oklahoman in 1987 as a reporter after earning a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She has served as both a... Read more ›