In Your Corner: Child Desperate For Identity
OKLAHOMA CITY – Our In Your Corner team helps a child in desperate need of assistance. Junius Miller III was born on a couch, in a motor home, on the shoulder of major Oklahoma interstate, without any medical supervision or care.
Almost six years later, he can’t get a birth certificate because of something his parents didn’t do right after his birth.
Little Junius is supposed to start kindergarten next year, but can’t enroll in school because there’s no record of his birth anywhere.
He can’t get a social security card, nor does he qualify for health and dental insurance.
“He needs his teeth fixed,” Junius’ mom, Amanda, said. “He needs to have a normal life.”
The young boy is paying for his parents’ mistake six years ago.
The family was passing through Oklahoma on their way to California.
Dad, Junius II, was behind the wheel of an old motor home.
Mom, Amanda, was in the back and in labor.
“When you see a baby’s head coming out, there’s nothing else you can do, but pray to God,” Junius’ dad said.
The unemployed, uninsured and scared couple opted against taking their baby to the hospital to get checked out.
They just kept driving, all the way to California to live with Amanda’s mom.
Little Junius was checked out by a doctor in the Golden State and given a clean bill of health.
Now six years later the Miller family is living on Oklahoma soil without a birth certificate for little Junius.
California wouldn’t give him one because he wasn’t born in their state and Oklahoma’s State Department of Health has been reluctant to issue him a birth certificate because there’s very little documented proof to back up the Miller’s story.
“I’ve been through everything they’ve ordered me to do,” Junius’ mom said. “I’ve turned in every paperwork they’ve required of me and they’ve still refused.”
Family friend, Kathi Rudd, says the state investigator handling Juniuses’ case has been particularly difficult to deal with.
“He stonewalls us,” Rudd said. “Like I said, I’ve called, I’ve emailed and there’s no answer.”
So last summer, at the health department’s request, Juniuses’ parents told their story to a district judge, who in turn issued a court order instructing the health department to issue the Millers a birth certificate.
Officials with the State Health Department refused to go on-camera for this story, but issued this statement:
“Because these are vital legal records, we must assure that all required documentation is provided and accurate. Sometimes there are factors that make this process more complicated and time-consuming. For this family, there were some complicating issues, but the good news is that we have met with them this week and are optimistic we will soon be able to issue a birth certificate for their son.”
The health department tells the family, if all goes well, Junius should finally have his birth certificate next week.
As soon as he gets it, we’ll let you know.