Help - Correcting Birth Certificate in PA

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Help - Correcting Birth Certificate in PA

Postby Carboni » 03 Jun 2011, 02:53

Hello all,

Story so far: I have all of my documents required for my appointment in May 2012 with the Philly Consulate. One problem, however. My GF's birth certificate contains a misspelling of our family's Italian surname that is off by three letters. He was born in Philadelphia County and passed away back in 1979, so a court order is needed for Vital Records to correct the record.

Problem is, I can't seem to find a court or a lawyer in PA who is willing to fix this problem. Tried filing a pro se petition in the Orphans' Court and it got kicked out for lack of jurisdiction. None of the Philly court clerks know what to do with this.

Has ANYONE (besides JSchotz, who was kind enough to help me with this effort) successfully obtained a court order in Pennsylvania to change a vital record, and if so, how did you go about doing it?

Other options I'm considering are:

- Writing Vital Records and asking them to please re-examine the original record, as the errors appear to be transcription problems; or

- Filing a petition in a New Jersey court (where I reside) to correct the document in PA; or

- Simply going with the document as it is to the Consulate, and seeing what happens first.

Any advice is much appreciated...
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Re: Help - Correcting Birth Certificate in PA

Postby johnnyonthespot » 03 Jun 2011, 05:22

Carboni wrote:Other options I'm considering are:

- Writing Vital Records and asking them to please re-examine the original record, as the errors appear to be transcription problems; or


So, the document you now have is what?, a computer printed extract?

Unusual. Most "long form" certificates as required by the consulate are photocopies of original handwritten or typed documents. If there is even the smallest chance that your document was mis-transcribed, I would definitely try to rule that out first. Perhaps you can telephone them at the number on the bottom of this page http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/birth_certificates/14121 and rule this in or out quickly.
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Re: Help - Correcting Birth Certificate in PA

Postby Carboni » 03 Jun 2011, 16:36

Yes, it's a computer generated extract - not a certified photocopy of the original document. PA for some reason has a special typed form for birth records and does not provide a photocopy of the original (although they do for death certificates, which is bizarre).

When I first ordered my GF's record five years ago, I was surprised by the errors and called Vital Records to confirm they transcribed it properly. The person on the phone told me "Yes, that's the record we have" but I seriously doubt she even bothered to look at the original document. So one course of action is to write Vital Records and ask them to re-examine the original in the vaults, as I imagine it's a handwritten record and sometimes letters are hard to make out.

Other folks with records from that time period seem to have similar issues with misspellings. Our ancestors must've been visited by the same illiterate midwife.
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Re: Help - Correcting Birth Certificate in PA

Postby johnnyonthespot » 03 Jun 2011, 16:56

Carboni wrote:Our ancestors must've been visited by the same illiterate midwife.


It is more likely that your (and mine and lots of other people's) ancestors were illiterate or, at the very least, were unable to communicate in english.

Until I spent several months and a few hundred dollars on it, my mother's birth certificate (the handwritten original) was riddled with spelling errors.
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Re: Help - Correcting Birth Certificate in PA

Postby scottshay » 06 Jun 2011, 19:54

I can help you with the PA court order to have a birth cert amended. I petitioned a local court in PA last year and got a court order to have a delayed record of birth created for my GF for my jure sanguinis application. Even though it's a slightly different thing you are doing, the legal proceedings/procedure are the same. I had a lawyer in PA (I am in VA, but my GF was born in PA) create the petition and required (by PA) proposed court order). The lawyer petitioned the court on my behalf and got the order within days. I sent it to PA Vital Records and had the Delayed Record of Birth within a week. I can send you a template of both the petition and proposed court order, and you can simply edit them accordingly (you'll need backup docs, such as baptismal cert, death cert, ssn records, military records, or whatever you can get to prove the proper spelling, and the petition is already formatted in the required format, so you just need to change the wording). You can petition yourself, but it's probably easier to get a lawyer to do it for you. It shouldn't be overly expensive, since you can present them with the edited petition and proposed court order docs, so they would really just need to go over those, and do the actual petitioning. Send me a private message with you email and I will email you the docs in Word format.
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Re: Help - Correcting Birth Certificate in PA

Postby markcalcagno » 14 May 2013, 15:14

scottshay,

I have read your old post ( 06 Jun 2011) about correcting a PA birth certificate. My daughter and I are attempting to get italian citizenship via jure sanguinis. The biggest problem is my father's PA BC. His birth name was "Aniello Calcagno"; BC says "Anielo Carcona". PA vital records says I need a court order to correct. I've contacted many attorneys here in NY state but no takers. So far, same in PA. Do you have any advice? Perhaps you could direct us to an attorney in PA who handles such cases.
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Re: Help - Correcting Birth Certificate in PA

Postby scottshay » 14 May 2013, 22:06

Hi Mark, I used a local attorney in Lebanon, PA where my grandfather was born--I am guessing they would not take a case unless it was local. I would try to find an attorney in the county where your father was born--look for someone who practices family law. In reality, you don't need a lawyer to petition a court though. If you private message me with your email, I will send you templates I created from my petition and draft court order (PA generally requires both). With those, you can petition the local court where he was born, or hand them over to a local attorney--with the templates, it is obvious what needs to be done (these were to create a birth cert, but easily modified to petition for a change). It is pretty straightforward. The petition states all of the obvious info in legalese, then points to all of the proof of the real name (along with original documents that show the real name, as many as you can get). The draft order is what the judge uses to create an order telling vital stats to make the change. They often leave them as is--mine did. Once you have the signed order from the judge, you mail it to vital stats with whatever form they have for name changes, and they should send you back the changed certificate. I have helped a bunch of people with these templates by now, and have heard back from some that they were successful.
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Re: Help - Correcting Birth Certificate in PA

Postby shawnwalters » 22 Aug 2013, 03:30

Hi Scott,

I just signed up and it won't let me send you a private message, can you send/upload the template you are talking about? I have the same problem, my GF first name is not even remotely correct, so need to get updated prior to my meeting Sept 10th in Philly.
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Re: Help - Correcting Birth Certificate in PA

Postby zsnyder » 22 Aug 2013, 20:00

Scott, I went through the same process awhile back. I filed everything myself in Philadelphia court from San Francisco. Philly has switched to electronic filing so it's relatively painless.

I've written up a post about the process on anther forum so take a look and see if it helps you at all.

I seriously doubt you'll get a judgement before your meeting but go anyway. You can always submit documents to the consulate by mail.
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