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Cover Story
Love in action: The Home School Foundation

Reaching out to widows and orphans

Helping the "least of these"

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Standing against the legislative tide

Home schoolers give Preisdent Bush donations for Afghan Children

Review of the 2001 National Conference

HSLDA welcomes new litigation team member

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A contario sensu

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Freedom watch

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HSLDA legal contacts for August 2001

A plethora of forms

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What about the birth certificate?

Recently Home School Legal Defense Association has received several calls from member families in Arizona with questions about whether the law actually requires home schoolers to submit copies of their children's birth certificates when they file their affidavit with the school superintendent.

The section of the law governing home schooling does not include "birth certificate" in the list of what must be included with the affidavit. However, 15-828 of the Arizona Revised Statutes states that if a child is instructed at home, the parents must provide either a certified copy of the birth certificate or other reliable proof of the child's identity and age, along with a notarized statement explaining the inability to submit the birth certificate. This information must be submitted to the superintendent within 30 days of beginning home schooling-i.e., at the same time as the affidavit.

The fact that a parent is unwilling to submit a copy of the birth certificate probably does not qualify for "inability" to provide the birth certificate. This provision of the law is designed to protect parents who have no access to the original birth certificate-for instance, if their child was born in a foreign country that has lost the original.

- Darren A. Jones