Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Needed My Big Girl Knickers Today...

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.

Which is...

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...

12 comments:

Kel said...

Hi Kerrie. Read you post just before i headed out to bookclub and thought, nope, will post a comment when i get back. I went through passport dramas 3 years ago with a very recalcitrent father, who is on birth certificates, but i had to take him to court anyway to get the damn things as he refused to sign them citing potential kidnapping situation! its funny in hindsight but at the time i was completely ropable. It was a very stressful time. its a total pisser the whole drama being so dependent on these bloody men who dont really give a toss anyway but you have to 'ask' them in order to continue to live a life which you have been living without them anyways. ugh. im riled for you. the red phone sounds quite monty python however and does lend some light and shade to the observer! on another note, i had an absent father from the very beginning of my life and it has never worried me emotionally in the least, my mum explained it to me but i had her constancy and love. i know she felt completely pissed off for me for the reasons you described, but from a kids point of view it never phase me in the slightest. still doesnt. but on the other hand as a mother, it really gets under my skin that my girls dad felt fine to abandon them at 9 and 12. Hang in there. one day the damn little blue book will be in your hands and you wont have to ever do it again. Good luck. kel
(my turn to ramble)

Lynda said...

My goodness, Kerrie...what an ordeal! I hope your next post will be better. Love you.

Tracy, mom2many said...

Ah hon,
I hate that. I hate governmental bs and not having a form, and red phones for you (although so glad there was at least one person in bureau land that was helpful). I do hope you are able to get it sorted and Matilda's dad will do at least this.
(((((hugs))))) I don't get why he wouldn't want to know her, I would love to know her more.

buddha_girl said...

What a fucking loser. I officially hate him for you.

Don't you love how bureaucracy makes you jump through hoops at all turns for NO GOOD REASON?

Here's to hoping that your red phone appointment goes well and that you don't have to deal with that sperm donor again.

PS
I love that you cursed in this post! I felt my soul sister today!

Watercolor said...

oy vey hun. hugs and prayers for you both. I hope the passport office finds a heart and helps you.... if not, I hope the man just signs it without incident. hugs!!

Lissy said...

Rolling my eyes so much in each paragraph that they are about to pop out of my head...owww.
I just can't believe "the system"...OH FOR JUSTICE!!! To think that some people manage to get away with blue murder, yet the people who try to do the right thing are blocked at every turn...AHHHH. It's not fair.
You give that precious Matilda a big hug & you keep fighting to get it all sorted out - when you feel like banging your head against a wall keep looking at that precious girl of yours. She is such a delightful young lady. You are an inspiration Kerrie. Keep pressing on sweetheart!!!!! Deep breaths & Leunig-type thoughts sent your way from down South!!!

Lynda said...

TAG - you're it!

June Saville said...

The law is so often an ass ...

June Saville said...

The law is so often an ass ...

Dee from Downunder said...

what a nightmare! hope it gets sorted

Lynda said...

Found you through WTB.. Such a hard story to read - could feel your frustration. Seems that 'pencil pushers' will never learn to cope with anyone that lives outside the traditional 1950's norm.... and seriously, how many people live like that today. Keep you chin up luvvy.
Cheers.

Le @ third on the right and cold peas said...

well I'm with you .... karma will bite back !