Re: Retroactive Age Changes?

Derleth started a thread Retroactive Age Changes? which got locked because the OP was somewhat confusing. He was asking if somebody could have their age legally changed.

There is at least one example of this: the entertainer Charo (whose real name is Maria Molina Baeza). She was born in Spain on 1941. But in 1977, she convinced a California judge that the date on her Spanish documents was an error and her real birth year was 1951. The judge ruled that her official birth year was now officially 1951.

So it appears it is possible to have your date of birth legally changed.

I believe the heart of the question is not whether it’s possible, but what implications that might have for someone who had done things they wouldn’t have been legally allowed to do at their (true/revised) age.

It’s not a bad question, although my WAG would be that they couldn’t/shouldn’t be held criminally liable for acting in “good faith” as it were, if they believed the age that the state gave them to be correct. I would still think that even if it could be shown they knew all along that it was the wrong age, but that might be more of a grey area, and I don’t know the answer either way. IANAL.

María del Rosario. Her firstname is María del Rosario - like every other Charo. Charo is one of those “automatic nicknames”.

I realize this is a different (but I think relevant) situation, but we have a case up here where someone who was tried as an adult is now providing evidence that he should have been tried as a youth, so from the point of view of the Canadian legal system he is trying to get his age changed.

Mrs Iggy needs to do this. The date on her birth certificate is different than the date on her national ID card (cedula). And they used the date on her cedula to issue her passport. And so it snowballs.

It was a simple clerical error when she got her cedula as a child and it never seemed important enough to try to correct. Now that we are doing immigration stuff it does seem important even though the difference in dates is only a few weeks.

During WWII, some men who were considered too old for entrance into the Army by just a month or a few weeks were allowed to join if they provided proof that they had been born prematurely. Their “birthday” for purposes of enlistment was the day they would have been at 40 weeks gestation. I don’t think they actually got issued a new birth certificate-- I think an addendum note was simply put in their file-- or maybe it was a waiver. Given the patriotic fervor and rush to join after Pearl Harbor, I wouldn’t doubt some of the affidavits of prematurity were lies.

Dorothy Parker was born prematurely, and wanted to get into a program for overseas correspondents during the Spanish Civil War, but she was too old by months. She tried to get a waiver, as some men had, just as in WWII, based on when she would have been full-term, but was denied, probably due to sexism.

There are more people than you’d think whose birthdays are guesses. Babies given up at Safe Havens get birth certificates with birthdays that are best guesses, mainly based on the healing of the umbilicus. I suppose if it ever came down to something like they were a day too young to run in a presidential election, they could challenge the assumed age in court, and might convince a judge to make them a day older.

I’ll bet there are people who got the wrong date of birth at Ellis Island due to Europeans writing dates differently from Americans.

Sure, my grandparents generation made up their specific birthdays, they only knew them in the Hebrew calendar. They didn’t change their ages by much, but they didn’t necessarily have clear documentation of when they were born either. My grandmother proved her age using a school graduation certificate signed by a minister of Tsar Nicholas II to demonstrate she was 21 years old at the time, but it didn’t have her birthday on it.

Oh, I had a spelling error on my birth certificate. They left off the H at the end of my first name. We didn’t discover this until I applied for my passport at age 9. I have always spelled my name with an H. I got my driving permit and license with an H, and my high school and college diplomas spelled that way, but it became an issue when I enlisted in the military. So I petitioned to have it corrected. Since it was an error, and not a name change, it was free, and I didn’t have to go to court. I just had to demonstrate that I had always used the H. I sent a birth announcement (my parents actually saved the extras), a report card from the first grade, a photocopy of a yearbook page from the third grade, a cancelled check from my first checking account I had when I was 11 (I had a paper route), a copy of a program from when I was in a play when I was 15, and high school and college transcripts, and it was all good. I did have to pay $10 for the new copy of my birth certificate, though. I think they should have given me a free one.

I imagine if there is a genuine mistake on your birth certificate due to a clerical error some where, and you can show that you have used a different date all you life, it would be pretty much the same. Particularly, if you could find microfiche of the newspaper where the birth was listed, which they used to do up through the 90s, until HIPAA put a stop to it.

Whenever you see somebody born on the 5th day of the 15th month you know you’ve found one. :slight_smile:

My very aged MIL was born in the US to very fresh Italian immigrants. In those days in that culture you had two birthdays: The date you were born, and the nearest saint’s day as he/she was your patron saint. Or at least so Mom has always maintained.

As such she has two birthday celebrations every year about a week apart and considers her true “birthday” to be the saint’s day. The other one, the day she actually came out into the world is her “government birthday.”

I researching my family tree, I found that in rural England, a number of babies were recorded with only their christening date (baptism) in the 1700’s and early 1800’s. Some others, the baptism was record plus the birth date; and it seemed it was not unusual to wait sometimes over a month and up to 3 months to get baptized. Plus the instance where the mother and 5 children were baptized later in life… I assume some protestant dispute with Anglicans, and they did so when the husband died. Also I was intrigued by how many couples were married and a child was born a few months later… or before. I guess the farm girls apocrypha is not far off. (In the case of the family being baptized together, there was also an older child with the mother’s maiden surname… ?)

There’s a case in Canada right now where a family member is appealing his conviction for participating in an honor killing on the grounds that his Afghan documents are in error due to a confusion over Dec 31 birthdate, he was born a year later and should have been tried as a juvenile under 18.

I am going to have to go through this at some point. The Social Security Administration believes that I am exactly a year younger than I really am presumably because of a typo. I didn’t know about the error until my electronic tax returns started being rejected for having the wrong birth year. I have to use the wrong one that they believe until I can get it fixed to get my tax returns accepted at all.

Unfortunately, the Social Security database is the closest thing to a master id database there is in the U.S. so the wrong information is probably in hundreds or thousands of state and federal databases as well. I contacted them about correcting it but, needless to say, it isn’t an easy thing to do so so I am putting it off until I have a few months to spare.

My mother was born on a 29th of February, sometime after midnight. Somebody decided that it would be more convenient to have February 28th recorded as her date of birth, and so it was done.

A friend’s daughter had her legal age changed, too. She was an overseas adoption, and they initially presumed that the documentation she came with was accurate, but once she started getting regular medical exams, her listed age was inconsistent with all of the benchmarks. They figured that the orphan mill[sup]*[/sup] where she came from had a policy that all kids’ ages were whatever age the rich American adopting them was looking for. They guessed that the date they were given was accurate, and they just lied about the year, so that’s her official birthday now.
*You know all those horror stories the ASPCA tells about puppy mills? Yeah, pretty much like that, except with humans. Needless to say, my friend did not know this at the time.

Isaac Asimov never knew his actual birthdate - he celebrated January 2nd as his birth date, but “Allowing for the uncertainties of the times, of the lack of records, of the Jewish and Julian calendars, it might have been as early as October 4, 1919.”

This did result in him being eligible for the draft in 1945, when he might actually have been too old to be drafted.