Proving paternal ethnicity w/o Birth Certificate

I’m a bastard (both senses). Being that my mom was only seventeen when I was born and had left my biological father before delivery, she opted NOT to put his name on the birth certificate. My father was Hispanic (making me half), and his grandmother was a full-blooded Native American (making me an eighth). Both of these facts qualify me (and my daughter) for some grant/scholarship programs. But absent my real father’s name on my birth certificate I’m not sure that I have any means of taking advantage of these programs. Is there any way I could prove my heredity to these institutions?

Whoops. Hang out here too much, thought I put that in GQ. Well, it’s not urgent. I’m sure someone in MPSIMS might have a thought.

To qualify for most grant/scholarship programs open to Native Americans, applicants must be certified as recognized members of a specific tribe. In fact, many of these programs are administrated at the tribal level. You might start by inquiring of the administrative body of the tribe in question about their standards for proof.

Hispanic ethnicity, otoh, is not defined by genetics, it’s quite self-defined; most Hispanics would define Hispanic as “someone whose home language is Spanish (or Portuguese!, yell the Brazilians)”, yet there’s many 2nd and 3rd generation Hispanics whose Spanish is about as good as my German. My advice for this one is to contact the agencies directly.

PS: I reported the OP so it can get moved.

Could you have her amend your birth certificate?

Are your father or any of his immediate relatives available for paternity testing?

Huh. I think the Native American tribe has the last word on who qualifies, but I’ve never heard anyone say they were tested in any way for claiming to be a member of a particular race. Would they really bother with blood tests or anything? I just never heard it going any further than the person’s own identification.

Moved to GQ.

I work in a lab that does parentage testing and I asked the doctor whether he could identify someone as a particular race by testing them alone or by testing them and a parent. He said something along the lines of there being genetic markers that were *more likely * to crop up frequently in certain races, but seemed very reluctant to outright state someone’s heritage by DNA testing.

However, you may wish to check with a lab in your area, especially if your father or another of his relatives are available to you.

Most current standards view Hispanic as an ethnicity–not a race. So it’s generally left up to you. Can you ask the people who offer the various grants & scholarships for their criteria?

If you can trace your ancestry back to a specific tribe, contact their main office and inquire about their tribal enrollment process (Tribal Directory [PDF])

If you can’t: try this.

Good luck.

Just a tiny nitpick, but if your father’s grandmother was full blood native american, then your father couldn’t be full hispanic. So you would have actually get less than half from that.

Sure he could. There are plenty of people in Mexico that have >99% descent from native American tribes that are Hispanic simply because they speak Spanish as their native language rather than an indian language.

That makes some sense. To clarify, I would ask the OP if he means hispanic in the ‘speaks spanish as 1st language’ sense or means is Mexican, Cuban, Peruvian, etc.

It sounds like the distinction doesn’t matter for the reasons he’s asking though.

And to add to the confusion there are plenty of people in Mexico who identify as “indian” rather than “hispanic”, and there are plenty of people who’s ancestors have been US citizens for generations and who speak perfect english who as still “hispanic”.

so, whose name is on the birth certicate?