Gauteng mom distressed about daughter who’s 'a boy' on her birth certificate

2019-05-24 13:26
(PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)

(PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)

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A girl who has to start Grade 1 next year can’t be registered for school because the government has her on their records as a boy.

The five-year-old from Pretoria East is identified as male on her birth certificate. Her mom says the slip occurred when the child’s biological dad had her incorrectly registered at birth.

"I can’t tell you how difficult it is to get this rectified. I have spent hours and hours on the phone trying to get hold of Home Affairs," she says.

Sometimes her little girl gets upset, saying to her: "I’m not a little boy – do I look like one, Mommy?" her frustrated mom says.

According to her, the girl’s father isn’t involved in her child’s life, which makes it impossible to get his permission to change the erroneous birth certificate.

She adds that she’d tried to correct the error before – shortly after her daughter’s birth – at Home Affairs. "The official just circled the word 'male' on the certificate with his pen and wrote 'female'," she says.

"The last time I went there to change it, I stood in the queue all day and when I got to the front the Home Affairs people couldn’t help me."

Birth certificate. (PHOTO: Supplied)

She says she doesn’t want to take a day off work if she doesn’t know what documents to take along to the department.

Her phone calls to the department for information go unanswered, she claims.

Now her daughter apparently can’t be registered for her first year of school.

“I’ve made a certified statement to the police that we’re in the process of changing the birth certificate, but I was turned away by the school.

“It seems the school can’t register a child if there are any errors on their birth certificate,” she says.

Applications for Gauteng public schools have opened.

“I’m so worried that my daughter won’t get a place in our school of choice,” says the mom who says she’s at her wits’ end.

According to Home Affairs this type of error can be corrected with a confirmation letter from a doctor or from a hospital where the child was born.

“She must complete forms at the Home Affairs nearest to her to request that it (the certificate) be altered, but she’ll need substantiating documents,” department spokesperson David Hlabane told

A letter from a doctor confirming the child is female or the girl’s original hospital card would suffice, he said.

Read more on:    education

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