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Socioeconomic Status on Birth Certificates

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(2):205. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140400083022.
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Sir.—I was appalled to read the editorial in the April 1983 issue of the AJDC by Drs Avery and Wise1 who advocated the placement of socioeconomic status on all birth certificates issued in the United States.

I fear that if such a system were to go into effect, the knowledge on the birth certificate would be abused. A birth certificate should be used to prove citizenship, determine age, and little else. One should remember that the same birth certificate is used to enter the Little League, obtain a driver's license, and register for the military.

I believe that it would be a grave mistake to require the placement of information relevant to socioeconomic class on birth certificates.


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