Manitoba birth certificate backlogs have mother living ‘parent’s worst nightmare’

A woman dealing with Vital Statistics Manitoba says she is living a “parent’s worst nightmare,” having gone nearly five months without receiving a birth certificate for her daughter.

And Janna Weber says she’s been given no timeline on when she may receive it.

“I have been terribly frightened every day in the case of an emergency, where I need to take my daughter to the hospital, that they will take her away from me because [they think] she is not mine,” Weber said.

Click to play video: 'The legal and parental ramifications of a birth certificate' The legal and parental ramifications of a birth certificate

The legal and parental ramifications of a birth certificate – May 16, 2018

Weber’s daughter was born Dec. 17, 2020 in Winnipeg. She has since moved to B.C., but has still not received the certificate.

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She was told in a conversation with Vital Statistics that her registration forms are with them, but they haven’t been inputted into the system and therefore, she can’t receive the certificate.

Read more: Manitoba parents concerned with birth registration delays

“Without a quicker registration system in place and the lack of documentation I need as a mother, my basic parental rights as a mother to give, provide, and protect to the best of my ability for my children has been taken away from me.”

Manitoba Vital Statistics acknowledged to Global News they are experiencing delays.

“We are definitely aware of it and working on a lot of ideas and projects,” said Kathryn Durkin-Chudd, Assistant Deputy Minister Consumer Protection & Business Services Division Department of Finance.

She said a backlog reduction plan, which started in March, has reduced backlogs of birth certificates by eight per cent, marriage certificates by 15 per cent and death certificates by 46 per cent.

Durkin-Chudd also noted parents are not required to apply for birth certificates to access many federal and provincial programs and benefits.

“Once birth is registered, new parents can consent to the statistics branch to share their info with Canada Revenue Agency.”

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Weber has been told that Vital Statistics is now working on putting November 2020 births in the system.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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