CHANDLER, Okla. (KFOR) – One Chandler family has been waiting over a year for a birth certificate for their 15-month-old daughter.

“She is not a person,” said Elizabeth Carder. “In the eyes of the law, she is literally not a person.”

Elizabeth says she adopted the baby through her own daughter Kimberly Robinson.

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“I have always wanted a sister and I wanted her to have her,” said Robinson.

A picture of Temperance Carder after she was born.

February 10, 2022, Temperance was born and Carder would be the person to cut the umbilical cord.

“I cried,” said Carder. “When it came to Kimberly, while she was pregnant I was making sure she was taking her vitamins and harassing her over every little thing.”

After Temperance was born the next step was to get her birth certificate.

The first Easter Temperance had with her family.

“In 2022 we called to find out what was going on with it and they said that they couldn’t find any record of it,” said Carder.

She says they put an order in, verifying payment and an order number.

“So, come July and we call and they say they don’t have any record of it,” said Carder. “I give them the order number and magically they end up finding it. They told me yeah, we’ll get it out to you.”

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Months would pass and no birth certificate would come in the mail.

“This whole time I can enroll Temperance in a daycare because she basically doesn’t exist,” said Carder. “I was lucky to find a doctor to work with me and get her the shots she needed.”

A picture of Elizabeth with Temperance.

Kimberly and Elizabeth have both gotten individual lawyers in order to help but it hasn’t.

Thursday KFOR reached out to the Oklahoma State Department of Health to find out what she needs to do to get the certificate. They stated that they contacted the mother as soon as they were alerted Thursday and told her what next steps to take.

“I don’t have the money to pay for more lawyers and more court fees,” said Carder.

The family says they have spent thousands of dollars trying to get the one certificate.

“There’s literally nothing I can do,” said Carder. “I can’t prove that she exists if she gets kidnapped or that she belongs to us if anything bad happens to her. I can’t prove that she belongs to us.”

We encourage all new parents to work with their birth clerks before going home to make sure all required forms are completed in order to delays. Birth records are permanent, legal identity documents and serve to establish the legal parentage of a child. It’s vitally important for all required forms to be filled out timely, completely and accurately, so we are able to issue the record and the child and parents are able to access important benefits and services e.g. insurance and other health benefits.

Oklahoma State Department of Health