While most people see reproduced documents as being less than scrupulous, being able to get a reproduced birth certificate allowed me to do all the things that I never could before. I had kept the original packed away in the garage, along with some other documentation, but I could never have predicted the hurricane that hit our area in Florida with a sudden and destructive force. We had to evacuate the area for several days, and when my wife and I returned home, we were dismayed to see that not only did the house sustain some damage, but the garage was flooded and heavily damaged. Part of the roof had caved in on one side, and everything that had been stored on that side of the building was destroyed, including the sturdy boxes that had contained some important papers—including my birth certificate.
After my birth certificate was destroyed by the hurricane and flooding, it was almost impossible to get any kind of other documentation. The proof of my American citizenship had basically been swept away, and I had no other proof other than my driver’s license that I was legally a citizen, which isn’t acceptable in some cases as proof. I had been planning to enroll in university that fall, and without my birth certificate, the process couldn’t begin unless I could prove that I had been born in the country. When I discovered that I could get a reproduction of my birth certificate online, the clouds lifted. Not only did the example they show me look just like the real thing, but it came at a price that I could afford. I filled out the forms, paid the fee, and a few weeks later, I had a reproduction of my birth certificate that I could take to the registration office as proof of my citizenship and was able to register for classes that very day. A reproduced document got my life back on track after a tragedy, and I’m forever grateful.