Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dealing with Government Offices in another State

**googled driving direction on mapquest**

Hello everyone and welcome back to my little blog.  I thought I would post this blog in hopes that someone out there knows how to help or has just been in the same boat and your not alone.

Since my brother passed away, I have gained custody of his 14 yr old son Zane.  This poor kid has been through hell the last couple of years.  Just when he thought his life was getting on steady ground, his dad got evicted and had to move in with me, my husband, son and grandson.  It was a crowded situation to say the least but we were making it work.  About 3 weeks after they moved in my brother died.  Now this kid is not so sure about the ground beneath him.  My heart was breaking, no only for the loss of my brother but for this child who had been through so much in the past couple of years.

I immediately jump into action and file for custody of him through our local courts.  Since his mom was here, she agreed to sign off on me taking custody.  She knew she wasn't in a place to take care of him at this time in his life.  I have to say a big Thank You to her for that.  She put her sons needs ahead of her own and we went to the attorney and signed the papers.  It felt like an eternity waiting for the judge to sign off on them.  In reality it was 30 days but because we were at a standstill and on pins and needles it felt like years.  He was worried that he might have to go into state care if I wasn't given custody.  I told him not to worry that I would not let that happen.

Finally, I got the call from my attorney that the papers were in and signed by the judge.  I now have full and legal custody of my nephew.  His ground beneath him is once again secure.  Now that I have the papers saying I am his legal guardian, I have the great pleasure (yes sarcasm) of hunting down records on him.  When my brother got custody of him they didn't have any records to give him.  There was no medical records, no social security card other than a picture of it, no birth certificate, only the paper from the hospital saying he was born.  How this child got into school here is beyond me.  The school had been trying to get a copy of the shot records that his previous school should have sent.  When I contacted that school they said they didn't have them and to contact the previous school.  Again, called that school and was told the same thing.  This was a vicious cycle that they kept sending me in circles.

After leaving several messages with DCFS in LA, I was able to get ahold of someone who was able to give me some information.  Thank goodness I was able to find them on Facebook.  The number I had been calling for over a month was not producing even a call back.  Once I contacted them I had a call the same day and was able to get some information.  A couple of days later I received another call from DCFS and was able to get more information along with phone numbers and names.  I contacted the last doctor that he was known to go to and was able to get the shot records.  Woohoooo, small victory but when you are dealing with another state you take all the victories you can get.  So I can now check off shot records from the list of important information needed.

This takes me to the next step.  Getting his birth certificate.  Now, I don't know about you, but when my kids were born I made sure I got their official birth certificate within 2 months of them being born.  I on the other hand can't say that happened with him.  I contacted the office of Vital Records in LA and was told that they didn't have one on file for him.  Of course this left me confused and full of questions.  They asked for his moms information which I gladly gave and again, was told they had no records.  I explained to them that I had the paper from the hospital showing where and when he was born.  They questioned if I was sure it was in LA.  Uh yeah, I am looking right at the paper.  The lady said that they never received it and therefore there was no record of birth for him.

**Not my image.  Found from Google Search***

So my first question after she said that was "how in the hell is this possible?".  She explained to me that it could be because the hospital never filed it or it simply got lost in the mail.  I continue to ask how that is possible for him to get a social security card, state benefits, medical insurance or anything else without a birth certificate.  She said that you don't need a birth certificate in order to get those things.  YES YOU DO!!! In my state you have to have those things so it puzzled me that his mom didn't need it in LA in order to get any government services.  So the next question was, "what now?".  She told me that they would have to send it to the delayed department and they would have to send me out a packet to fill out and return.  I explained that I had already sent them everything I had via email and fax and that I didn't have any other information.  I asked if they could just file it from what I sent them and was told again that a packet would be sent out to me.

I am still waiting for that damn packet to show up.  In the mean time, I have scheduled a doctor's appointment for a physical, an eye exam for new glasses and a dentist appointment.  Hopefully, the letter I wrote to the governor of LA will get it and be able to help me.  I think it is a damn shame when you have people who are trying to do right by a child and get all the necessary documentation that he needs for everything in life, that people who work for the government act as if you are a bother to them.  In LA you have to go to the parish in which you live or was born for stuff as to where here you can go to the state capital and get the birth certificate.  Finding the right parish was another challenge in itself.  Things need to be much simpler for our of state people looking for such information.  

**Not my image.  Found on google search***

So have any of you ever had to deal with anything like this?  How did you handle living in one state and having to rely on another state for the information that you needed?  Do you have any suggestions on how to achieve this quicker or easier?  I have tried the vital records online and that is how this all got started.  I paid out over $45 to get it, only to find out there isn't one to get in the first place.  Now I am out the $45 dollars and still waiting on Vital Records in LA to get off their asses and send me what I need to get this child a birth certificate.

I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions or even your story if you have been in a similar situation.  It is hard to believe this happens but apparently in LA it does.  Be sure to leave a comment to let me know you were here.  I would love to visit more bloggers and get to know more people.

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