Dear Mary

Births, Deaths and Marriages

Sydney, NSW, 2000

Dear Mary,

as per your recent application to register a birth in the state of New South Wales.

I note receipt of your letter dated 26 December ????. Unfortunately BDM is unable to issue your requested certificate until you comply with the following pursuant to the Act in relation to registration of a birth in NSW:

1. ‘A stable’ is not a verifiable address. The alternative provided appears to read ‘under a date palm’ (?) and is likewise unverifiable. At the very least a street name and lot number is required.

2. I note that the father’s name is listed as ‘God’. Under the Act, parents are required to provide both first name and surname. These are usually the same as the husband’s name?

2a. Likewise ‘of Nazareth’ is not considered a suitable surname under NSW law. The alternative names you have provided require verification. A birth certificate plus documents providing evidence of a registered name change, a wedding certificate, current passport and drivers’ license will be sufficient. In answer to your question, we can only issue the certificate in one name so please choose whether it’s to be Mary, Miriam, Maryam or Theotokos. Titles are not usually allowed under the current legislation so we cannot support you in the use of Saint Mary, The Virgin Mary, Mother of God (isn’t he the father of the child? We’re confused.) or any of the alternatives.

3. Possible suitable witnesses to a birth can include registered doctors, midwives or paramedical staff such as ambulance officers. Statutory declarations from royalty arriving post-birth are not acceptable.

3a. Likewise, the statutory declarations signed The Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury, unless they were actually present at the birth, cannot be accepted.

3b. This department does not accept photographic nor painted images as proof of birth. Not even when painted by Leonardo da Vinci.

4. Claims of angels delivering messages to third parties, however fearful, cannot be accepted as proof of pregnancy. A blood test or ultrasound signed and dated by your doctor would be acceptable.

5. Please indicate more clearly the number of siblings. ‘The whole world’ is not recognised by our computer.

I look forward to being of further assistance to you. Merry Christmas.