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View Full Version : Kids who show up out of no where with no documents



Barb D
02-08-2009, 09:08 PM
Scenario: somehow a family ends up with a couple of extra children. They don't have birth certificates for them, and have no idea where to get them or if they even exist. (Say a long-lost relative shows up, dumps the kids, and disappears.)

How would the government deal with this? How could they get registered for school, etc.? Would the family be allowed to keep the children, or would they automatically be taken by CPS?

WriteKnight
02-08-2009, 09:20 PM
Your scenario is awfully vague for any kind of definitive answer. Does the family WANT the extra kids that were dumped on them? If not, they take the kids to CPS, and CPS (or a similar agency) will do the legwork to find out who they are.

You don't say how old the kids are. Assuming they are able to talk, then they'll have memories. "We used to live HERE." "Mom was called Mary" - whatever. These will provide context for beginning the search. School records, vaccinations, whatever.

Now - if you NEED the kids to have NO paperwork, then you could simply have the investigators determine that the kids were born 'in the wild' - somewhere off the grid so to speak. Probably home schooled. A pediatrician could determine their approximate ages, and paperwork establishing their identities would be drawn up by a court order. As to custody - that's another issue.

Barb D
02-08-2009, 09:25 PM
Let's assume the family is willing to take them, and that they're too young to give any credible information (maybe an infant and a 2 year old). They could probably just raise them for a while, but eventually would need birth certificates for school or sports or jobs or whatever.

The family would have no proof that they were "given" the children. For all the authorities know, the kids could have been kidnapped. But the family wants to do things right, and get them medical care, schooling, etc.




Your scenario is awfully vague for any kind of definitive answer. Does the family WANT the extra kids that were dumped on them? If not, they take the kids to CPS, and CPS (or a similar agency) will do the legwork to find out who they are.

You don't say how old the kids are. Assuming they are able to talk, then they'll have memories. "We used to live HERE." "Mom was called Mary" - whatever. These will provide context for beginning the search. School records, vaccinations, whatever.

Now - if you NEED the kids to have NO paperwork, then you could simply have the investigators determine that the kids were born 'in the wild' - somewhere off the grid so to speak. Probably home schooled. A pediatrician could determine their approximate ages, and paperwork establishing their identities would be drawn up by a court order. As to custody - that's another issue.

Deb Kinnard
02-08-2009, 09:46 PM
What if the kids were dumped there by a parent who's fleeing out of one of those cultish compound type places? There wouldn't necessarily be any documentation for them, but if they tracked the fleeing parent, couldn't the authorities compel him/her to sign an affidavit attesting to their birth?

Just wondering. Some of these groups refuse to register births as a form of civil disobedience, or so I've heard. Will this work for your story?

Barb D
02-08-2009, 10:00 PM
What if the kids were dumped there by a parent who's fleeing out of one of those cultish compound type places? There wouldn't necessarily be any documentation for them, but if they tracked the fleeing parent, couldn't the authorities compel him/her to sign an affidavit attesting to their birth?

Just wondering. Some of these groups refuse to register births as a form of civil disobedience, or so I've heard. Will this work for your story?

Actually, these kids are being brought in from an alternate reality for safe-keeping, so I don't think anyone will find their parents.

But let's say the family in this reality could get a signed statement before the parent flees for the other reality. Would that be enough for the authorities? Couldn't it have been forged?

I'm thinking of having them grow to young-adulthood here before being taken back to their own reality. So they would need to be able to go to school, etc. (I don't want them to be under the societal radar.)

WriteKnight
02-08-2009, 10:01 PM
What is it that you NEED for your story, and we'll work backwards from there. Because frankly the problem I am having is the moment of "DUMP".

A long lost relative can be tracked down - end of problem.

A stranger leaves a sort of 'trail'. Call the police, give them a description - it's their problem. Meanwhile the kids are in CPS.

What is the incentive for your family to take on kids they don't know. WHY would they do this?

It is possible for the family to take on two kids, say infant and toddler, and then 'mainstream' them - but not in a community that already KNOWS the family. The community will know these kids are outsiders. And yes, schools will need some paperwork.

Do you need for the family to hide the origin of the children?

EDIT: Okay -this alternate reality scenario is an important element - PLEASE put that stuff up front.

So, you want this family to 'assume' the title on these kids. You stil have to explain to the community where they came from.

Yes, they will need shots and medical records to enter mainstream schools - is that important? You could just homeschool the kids.

Moving to a new location, will 'hide' the parentage. The new community will assume its all one family, or just assume that the new kids are 'cousins' that you are raising.

Much of the legal requiremenst will vary depending on locations.

Barb D
02-08-2009, 10:46 PM
My daughter just had an idea... We could have the current-reality family have another relative who is an OB, and have the OB process fake birth certificates. Would that be logistically possible?

And sorry, WriteKnight, for not including all the info up front. I'm thinking this through as I'm coming up with the scenario.

I don't want the family to hide the children or homeschool them.

It occurred to me after I came up with this scenario that the Disney Channel movie Twitches took twins from another dimension and had them raised in this one. But I don't think they addressed how they logistically maneuvered them in to society.

Maryn
02-08-2009, 11:24 PM
Do you need it to be set in the present day? In the US? Or might the recent past do you just fine.

There may still be small districts which don't take paperwork too seriously and could not spot an inexpertly-forged birth certificate from out of state. It was certainly possibly when I was a kid. (I'm in my 50s now.) Transferring to an Arizona school district after a move, my mother could not find my birth certificate and presented a baptismal certificate issued by a church--and they accepted it. How easy would that be to fake!

Before 1995 or so, it was not all that difficult to create an identity and get legitimate papers by finding a child born about the right time who died very young. You'd write for a duplicate birth certificate and there'd be no cross-checking of death records. (Now it's computerized.) Even now that might be fully possible if the death occurred outside the US, especially in a place where record-keeping is haphazard, or in a war-torn area, like that.

And there have always been, and still are, people who do excellent forgeries of papers if the price is right. Read a few mysteries or spy novels for details. (Thomas Perry's Jane Whitfield[?] series is one to check.)

Maryn, who likes solving this sort of problem

Barb D
02-08-2009, 11:38 PM
Do you need it to be set in the present day? In the US? Or might the recent past do you just fine.

This would be present day (actually not-too-distant future), and in the US. Maybe my character needs to find those people who do forgeries. She is highly motivated to protect these children.

MissKris
02-09-2009, 02:33 AM
A forgerer may be your best bet. And if all you're looking for is records for school, it shouldn't be too hard to pull one over on a registrar, especially if it's an out-of-state certificate. Also, for medical records, here in Washington we have a card to keep track of immunizations; the nurse or doctor who administers is supposed to fill out each date and sign for each shot, but it would be simple to do it oneself.

However, don't rely on the idea that an OB can process a fake certificate - in many states there is a length of time by which a medical professional can get in an application for a BC before things get dicey. 10 days-3 months seem to be the range, as far as I can find. So, if the kids are older than 3 months there would be a lot more hoops to jump through to get the BC than just a doctor's say so. What you really need is someone who works in the state or county vital records office. That's where requests for BCs are processed.

Good luck!

johnnysannie
02-09-2009, 02:36 AM
Even in our small town, children must bring an official STATE birth certificate, with an official seal. No more allowing the hospital birth certificates or church records in our state.

It would be hard to fake and would require a master forger who would want beau coup money.

dirtsider
02-09-2009, 06:26 PM
Depending on what sort of alternate reality you're dealing with, is it possible the birth parents have copies and leave them with the adoptive parents? Or, since these kids are being left in an alternate reality, could they be left with 'family' of sorts who could get their hands on the birth certificates of this reality's version of these kids? Say the kids in current reality are dead or recently dead and have the alt. kids take their place.

Barb D
02-09-2009, 09:47 PM
The mom can travel between the two realities, so it occurred to me that I could have her come "home" to give birth, and get birth certificates. I may just have to go that way. I could even have her sign a document and make a video recording giving legal guardianship to the family. I laid awake all night going around and around about this!

WriteKnight
02-09-2009, 09:57 PM
What state in this reality does the story occur? What do the schools require RIGHT NOW? Work backwards from there. Birth certificates? Immunization? How does the current school district deal with home births? Midwife statement? Seems like you might actually need to contact a school district in the state of your setting if you want to find a plausible work around.

ideagirl
02-10-2009, 02:02 AM
Scenario: somehow a family ends up with a couple of extra children. They don't have birth certificates for them, and have no idea where to get them or if they even exist. (Say a long-lost relative shows up, dumps the kids, and disappears.)

How would the government deal with this? How could they get registered for school, etc.? Would the family be allowed to keep the children, or would they automatically be taken by CPS?

The other issue here is, what about the neighbors, relatives etc. of the family that takes these kids in? If you have neighbors, it's kind of hard to explain how you suddenly have two extra kids they've never seen before. It might therefore be a good idea, if this host family is strongly motivated to keep the kids and keep them safe, for the family to move to a different neighborhood soon after the kids' arrival. As for the family's relatives... well, they're going to have to be estranged from their relatives, or only children, or something.

dirtsider
02-10-2009, 05:48 PM
Or just say they were adopted or from long lost cousins.

Fenika
02-10-2009, 08:31 PM
I didn't read more than the first few posts...

FWIW-
In Smallville they set up Clark as being adopted by the Kents from a fake adoption agency. Papers were drawn up and all that. Seemed fairly reasonable, although it was prolly oversimplified.