TULSA, Okla. — More birth certificate headaches are being reported from several families in Green Country.
For one family, they say the headache consisted of unanswered phone calls, transfers, and voicemails to the hospital where they birthed their child and the State’s Vital Records Department.
“I was being transferred, and nobody could find what I was looking for or knew what I was talking about,” Brittany Rice, a mother trying to get her 1-year-old daughter’s birth certificate, said.
As a new year loomed with insurance enrollment coming to an end, Rice worried her 1-year-old would no longer be covered without her official paperwork.
“I actually have five kiddos, so she is my fifth,” Rice said of her daughter. “And she was actually kind of our surprise baby."
Rice is not new to the mom game. She knows the drill.
“With my very first I had no issue at all,” she said. “The social came in the mail, and then you go and file the birth certificate."
By baby number five, Rice assumed the same; an easy filing to get her newborn daughter's birth certificate.
However, this time, getting her child's birth record was not so simple.
“The birth certificate office called me and said that it wasn't on file,” Rice said. ‘Her birth was not on file at all, and that it wasn't turned in basically from the hospital.”
She said she contacted Saint Francis hospital several times to see why her daughter's birth was never documented but said she couldn't get a response.
“It took me three days of going up there before I finally… somebody was in the office to be able to talk to."
Rice said the hospital confirmed her daughter's birth was not filed with Vital Records and asked her to sign paperwork so it could be sent in right away. A couple of weeks late, she said she reached out to Vital Records again.
The frustration continued until Rice said she finally got word her daughter's birth record was still not on file, and the hospital did not submit it.
“It was becoming an issue at that point, so that's why I reached out to [the Problem Solvers], and finally got something done,” Rice said.
Our team reached out to the hospital who said the issue was with the state records department. When we reached out to Vital Records, a spokesperson said they would investigate the issue, stating in part –
"When this situation was brought to our attention, we worked with the hospital to ensure the necessary information and paperwork was received into our vital records office. "
Rice said she immediately got a call.
“The birth certificate office called me, very confused, after speaking with [the Problem Solvers] and they told me that the day you spoke with the hospital is the day that her birth was turned in."
In the end, after four months of trying, Rice finally obtained her daughter’s birth certificate.
She said she encourages those having problems to keep being persistent. The Vital Records office said those experiencing similar issues, whether it be birth or death certificates, should contact their office at AskVR@health.OK.gov.
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