Galax man, born without birth certificate, fighting to get one before job loss

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GALAX, Va. (WDBJ7) A Galax man says he's struggling with the Commonwealth to get a birth certificate, and if he doesn't get it, it could cost him his job.

Ronnie Bourne was born in 1961 at home in the mountainous area of Grayson County, where he says his family has been since 1793.

He said, back then, there was only one doctor in all of Grayson County and he wasn't even there for his birth.

Bourne explained, “When I come along, my birth, everything went good, didn't have no problem so they didn't need him. So he never was called so I never did get a birth certificate, and it's just downhill from there.”

The 10th of 12 children, Ronnie and three of his siblings never got birth certificates. But he needs one and said the eight months of work he and his wife have put in have achieved nothing.

WDBJ7 spoke to the Director of the Virginia Division of Vital Records Janet Rainey to see what needs to happen.

People in this situation first need to ask for a copy of a birth certificate, just in case they do have one of file.

Ronnie did that.

Then, if there's no record, a packet will be sent, which it was, asking for documentation proving date of birth, that it happened in the Commonwealth, and who the person's parents are.

Director Rainey said that could first be records from the midwife.

Bourne's mother's mid-wife was his aunt.

His wife Julie Bourne explained, “She did a notarized documentation that she was present, the street address and everything.”

If that didn’t work, a census record, school record, or anything that can be validated can be used.

The Bournes appear to have all of that, and said they've submitted it, but have still been denied and asked for further proof he was born in Grayson County.

“It's just been one thing after another and I'm at the point now that I don't know what else to do,” Julie Bourne said. “He has a brother that his wife had worked two years on getting a birth certificate.”

That family gave up trying. But Ronnie can't, as he needs his birth certificate to get his CDL license as a line worker, which he's been for 28 years.

Ronnie explained, “In the last year or so they've made it a law when you go to renew your license, I've had mine since I was 19, but now I've got to have a birth certificate to show where I was born.”

Without his license, his boss could fire him.

The family said their last option is Ronnie's registration for signing up in the Army, which is on its way to them.

After that, they follow Virginia Code to petition for a court order. They tell me they're meeting with a lawyer on February 3 for just that reason.

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