Is it legal to have an unregistered off-the-grid (no birth certificate) baby in the USA?
I was actually roommates with someone in College whose parents decided to have him u201coff-gridu201d. Let me just say this: Stop even entertaining the idea of having a baby off-grid. It really makes your childu2019s life unnecessarily hard and your kid will forever resent you for putting that pain on them.Iu2019ll get into the details in a moment, but first let me address the question proposed above. Yes, technically speaking it is not a crime to have your baby off-the-grid in the U.S.A. However, a lot of details surrounding the event would be illegal. First of all, any licensed midwife or doctor is required by law to file a birth certificate or they actually risk losing their license and getting a misdemeanor. If you forced them or threatened them to not file the birth certificate that would make you a likely accomplice and would not go over well with the authorities.But letu2019s ignore that for a moment and just assume you know how to birth a child on your own and can do it in your basement without any professional medical physician there to oversee you (which would be the only way you could pull this off). In this case you wouldnu2019t get thrown in jail for failing to get a birth certificate and no crime would have been committed. However you just set up a very difficult life for your child.These are some of the things I was told from by my roommate who didnu2019t have a social security number until he was 20 years old.No, he could not get a (legal) jobQuite literally he didnu2019t qualify to get even a job at McDonalds. If you remember the last job you got no matter how prestigious or demeaning it was, you had to fill out a bunch of paperwork. Most of these forms require you to have a SSN (social security number) to properly fill them out. However the important one is the form labeled I-9. This form is required to be submitted by every employer after hiring a new employee. This form serves only one purpose, to determine that you are eligible to work in the United States. Your child (and my roommate) would not be able to complete this form which every employer must get filled out before starting employment with a new employee. Your child will not be able to get a job because of this.Yes, he can evade paying taxes.Okay, so this sounds like a perk I guess. But my roommate did not have to pay taxes. The government basically didnu2019t know he existed, so they never knew he was not paying. But then again he didnu2019t have a job. So would you rather have a job and pay some taxes or not ever be able to work except under the table for below minimum wage? Given that choice, taxes sound pretty awesome! Keep in mind that this also means your child is not eligible for any tax benefits or credits such as those that students get while going to college.No, You as the parent can not claim him as a dependent on your taxesYouu2019re already dealing with a child, wouldnu2019t it be great to get that child tax credit? Every year you'll basically be paying out of pocket for deciding not to get them a SSN.Yes, he can attend public school through 12th gradeHe would be able to attend school through high school without a social security number.No, he can not attend collegeWhile high school and lower education is okay, your child will never be able to attend collegeYes, he can go to the doctorThe doctor will still see your child and prhim his shots. Howeveru2026No, he will not be covered under your family insurance (or qualify for Medicare/Medicaid)So youu2019ll need to plan on paying for all doctor appointments out of pocket.No, he can not travel abroad (even to Canada)Youu2019d best hope none of your childu2019s friends decide to go to Cancun for spring break. Your child will not be eligible to leave the country or return to the US if he manages to leave (unless he plans to climb Trumpu2019s wall)No, he will not be able to drive a carOkay, well nothing is stopping him from physically driving a car, but he would not be able to get a driveru2019s license and thus, can not LEGALLY drive. Hope he doesnu2019t get pulled over.No, he will not be able to voteOnce old enough he will not be able to register to vote.Yes, he can avoid the draftWell the good news is that like taxes, he can skirt the requirement to join the draft when he turns 18.No, he canu2019t get a loanThis means no credit cards, no car loan, no home, nothing. Iu2019m sure plenty of people will claim these are all evil anyway, but these have powerful impacts on someoneu2019s life. There might be times he needs it. (and when used properly none of these are bad things).No, he will not have a credit scoreThis goes with the above one, but he will not be able to work on this which affects your entire life/future. This also will disqualify him from renting most homes or apartments he is looking at.Basically your child will be treated as an illegal immigrant. Why put them through this when they are entitled to the benefits that the United States provides its citizens? There are people in other countries dying to get what your child is entitled to and you are (considering) denying your child those abilities? It just doesnu2019t make sense.Get them a SSN and if your child decides at 20 that he wants to live off-the-grid than he can burn his Social Security Card and go in the woods and hide from the government. But donu2019t be selfish enough to make that decision for them.My roommate resents his parents for not giving him a SSN. While all his friends in high school were driving, he couldnu2019t. While his friends go to Cancun for spring break, he had golden handcuffs in the U.S. and canu2019t leave. And worst of all he said was that while all his friends were earning money from jobs in high school, he couldnu2019t get a job.The job part was the hardest for him. He couldnu2019t leave the house or move out when he turned 18. He was stuck at home.Him working on getting a social security number was difficult and took him two years. He started when he turned 18 to get one once he realized he couldnu2019t go to college, he couldnu2019t get a job, he couldnu2019t rent an apartment, and thus will never really be able to be independent from his parents. It took two years and then at 20 he was able to get one and start working and going to school.He forever resented his parents. Donu2019t be those parentsu2026