This morning when I woke all I wanted to do was put my head back under the covers...I had a day of dealing with bureaucrats and their fiddly, nit-picking little rules.
Firstly I had to get Matilda's passport application sorted. I have run into strife with it because despite her father refusing to have his name on her birth certificate, despite his contesting paternity (which resulted in DNA testing and an almost year long court battle), despite my having sole custody and guardianship of her, despite his never having had anything to do with her, not even ever having (known to me anyway) set eyes on her...I need his signature on her passport application to ensure I am not taking her out of the country against his wishes.
The only reason this has to happen is because he pays child support and that there has been a court hearing to determine custody & guardianship arrangements.
I have been backwards and forwards 4 times to the post office, downloaded copy after copy of forms, all with number titles, not names and in the end had to apply for a copy of the original custody and guardianship court orders (due to her primary school losing my copy when I had to present them).
Guess what...the Melbourne Magistrates Court cannot find anywhere on their database a record of any of our court appearances, there were three for fuck's sake and I have the orders from two of them, can even give them the file numbers they needed. They tell me that they have the details of all Family Court appearances since 1975 on their data base and "...this is a most unusual situation...". No kidding.
So today I decided to gather together everything I had, go to the passports office and get the information I needed. I had phoned them before and they could not give me a definitive answer as to whether Matilda's father had to sign the passport application
I find the place, no mean feat, it's well hidden (probably for good reason, so people cannot find it)...get to the touch screen and hit the right buttons. I then get a message that no-one will see me without an appointment and I need to pick up the red phone and make one.
I didn't know whether to burst into tears or pick up the red phone and throw it at someone. Eventually I spoke to someone (on the red phone) who, surprisingly, no astonishingly was quite helpful.
I explained my predicament to her...within 2 metres of the queue so everyone can hear our family's private details, no provision for privacy or confidentiality here. My biggest stumbling block is that in section number (whatever) it says "Father's Name As On Birth Certificate". Um, it's not on her birth certificate and I am not able to leave the field blank. Therein lies the problem and no-one can tell me what to do.
So guess what...tomorrow I get to go to the Passport Office again, I even have an appointment as made on the little red phone. I get to present Matilda's application to them and they are probably going to tell me that I have to contact him and ask him to sign it. Oh joy...he is going to be thrilled about that.
It remains to be seen...
All this has gone on for two weeks now, it has dredged up some pretty ugly feelings that I am pushing to one side but am going to have to deal with eventually. Matilda is old enough now to know what is going on. In the past she had been too young and I had been able to shield her from his hideousness. She asked me the other day why his name wasn't on her birth certificate...I had to tell her the truth.
I don't know, I just don't know why he bailed out on her before she was born. I can deal with his rejection of me but it's so hard when it's Matilda who feels the hurt. I don't understand how he could be so irresponsible towards a new life that he had a part in creating. The day I held my screaming baby girl down at the Forensic Pathology Office while they attempted to take 4 vials of blood from her still makes my skin crawl. Had I run into him that day I would have killed him and not been accountable for my actions. I guess that's why they schedule both parties appointments 6 hours apart.
One day it will come back to haunt him...karma can be such a bitch...
Ch, Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes...
11 months ago