B.C. mom struggles to prove she actually had baby

A B.C. woman who recently gave birth at home has learned that if neither a doctor nor a midwife is present, it's difficult to persuade authorities that a baby was actually born.

No doctor or midwife present to verify that birth occurred

Lukas Wotten was born in January at his family home in Merritt, B.C. (CBC)

A B.C. mother who gave birth to her son at home with some family members present, but with no doctor or midwife, has found it difficult to persuade provincial authorities that the birth actually occurred.

The mother, Jessica Wotten of Merritt, B.C., applied for a birth certificate after her son, Lukas, was born in January.

But the B.C. Vital Statistics Agency said Wotten would have to prove the child belongs to her.

"They want diaper receipts, and home birth supplies receipts, formula receipts and proof that you actually had a baby and you didn't make it up," Wotten said.

"It's kind of upsetting, actually, because no one would recognize him as a person. He was my perfect little baby that I had, but I was being told that they weren't sure that he was actually here."

Affidavits sworn

Wotten had to submit sworn affidavits from neighbours vouching they witnessed her pregnant, but it turned out that still wasn't enough.   

Lukas was born in B.C. but his mother had a difficult time proving it because she gave birth without medical aid. (CBC)

"They believed that he existed and I had him, but they didn't have proof that he was born in B.C."  

After two months of frustration, Wotten contacted her MLA's office for help.

Ultimately, photographic evidence of the birth in her home satisfied the government, and Wotten got his birth certificate in late March.

The Ministry of Health says appropriate documentation of a birth is vital in establishing citizenship.

Wotten said she plans to hire a midwife to witness the birth of her next child.

With files from the CBC's Brady Strachan