Racial identity on government docs.

Carmen - posted on 05/16/2010 ( 79 moms have responded )

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When my daughter was born the hospital put black on all of her documents (immunizations etc). I am black and my hubby is white, I thought it was a little weird that they should ignore the fact that my child is bi-racial. The nurses told me, (a little condescendingly mind you) that ALL government doc. default to the race of the birth mother. So I had a question for the white mothers with bi-racial children with black fathers, did they put white on your child's documents? Or was this some backwards thing they do just to black mothers?

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Jennifer - posted on 09/21/2013

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I filled out registration paperwork for my daughters school yesterday and she was listed as white since that is what her father is. Race is still based off of the father, at least where I live in Texas. I always mark both black and white when I'm able to.

Sheryl - posted on 05/31/2013

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It depends on the state the child was born in. CT a baby born is what the mother is I am white and my husband is black our children are white because they were born in CT. One of my daughters married a man from Haati he is very dark skined and their children are darker then my husband but they are white because they were born in CT and they are what thier mother is even though she is mixed because she is what I am White. the reason you are what your mother is is because you always know who the mother is but you may not always know who the father is

Rayne - posted on 06/25/2014

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It's not about the state it's about facts. Nationality is determined by the seed of the father. Get it...apple tree...seed...the mother is the incubator; the vessel. It's really simple. Forget what the state says...think common sense. Think history!!

CJ - posted on 11/21/2013

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I am Caucasian, my sons father is of Cuban / Puerto Rican descent, when my son was entering a new school, (1980's) they would not allow me to register him as Hispanic. I was forced to take him to a completely different school area because their, "racial balance (for white enrollment) would have been "off set" ... I said ... not a problem, he's Hispanic. They told me the race of the child is legally determined by the race of the mother. Then I heard some place years later, that this is one of the laws in the USA that came from old English law (Common Law) that the "breast where the baby suckles" determines the legal race. That this part of the law came from the high mortality rate of the delivering mothers in Europe, and that when the mother died in child birth, a lactating woman "wet nurse" would care for it until it could eat food, that while the "wet nurse" was nursing the baby, it carried the race of the lactating woman, no matter the color of anyone else's skin, heritage or name, and in most cases, carried the "wet nurses" last name as part of his/her name mostly the middle name. It would have been disrespectful to expect a woman to nurse the baby and not be considered part of her.

JanuaryShytown - posted on 10/24/2013

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Listen you Godless heathens who have no knowledge of God's Word! For those of you who don't understand that every part of life is tied back to the bible, or for those who are just Ungodly and never read the bible. Here it is in a nutshell!! Whether you believe in God/Yah or not, your beliefs will not change what's been written and intended to be!. All children of families in the bible are identified according to whoever their Dad was. All lineages are listed according to who the father/dad was. Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, Jacob begat et. etc. Thus you are supposed to identify your children according to whoever their dad is. If their dad is white, the so shall the child be. For you Ungodly Heathens, the scientific reasoning for identifying your child according to whoever the dad is, is because the child is formed from the Seed, the seed comes from the man, the woman is only a vessel that houses that seed until it's birthed into the world. So from the seed of the man is who your child is identified as. If the child's dad is black and so shall the child be. If the child's dad is white man, then so shall the child be! So now you know! Please let the Stupidity and Dumb questions end here as I've given you logic from both sides of the fence. The reason why you Ungodly imbeciles are so confused is because if you had followed God/Yah's words from the beginning and not mixed with so many other races, you would understand and know who you are and who your child is! It's the same with a peach and an apple, they are two distinctly different fruits from two different seeds. For those few of you who do know God's words, then you understand why it is written: Let "Every Seed be After it's Own Kind" ....Peace!

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Diana - posted on 03/13/2014

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I looked at my husbands birth certificate and it says his parents are white and they are not they are Hispanic and native

Amanda - posted on 03/10/2014

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Im sorry CJ Sminth but if that is true then that is out right stupid for the lactation part. really it is.

Rebekah - posted on 10/25/2013

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January that is not true. They went by the mother. That is why Jacob adopted his two grandsons in Egypt because even though their father was Hebrew, they were considered Egyptian. That was a big reason God said not to marry outside of the Hebrew race because the children would not be Hebrew. In Hebrew lineages where the father was Hebrew often a child born to a Moabite, Egyptian, woman etc. was either not listed or was listed under the effect that the child was born from another people group. It will read and such and such had 5 sons with a Moabite wife. It doesn't even list daughters most of the time regardless of race. I have done extensive research into this earlier this year. In fact it wasn't just the Israelites that practiced this tradition but many other countries/ people groups as well. Many places also ask for race because if it's not listed on the birth certificate and there are government benefits specifically for that group it makes it hard for that child to receive those benefits, example Native Americans. I hope this has helped you.

Jodi - posted on 09/21/2013

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In Alabama they don't base it off of what race the mother is or what race the father is. If the child is biracial like my child is they just mark other.

Jennifer - posted on 09/21/2013

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It depends on where you live Julie. Not every child is considered black for having one black parent. I'm black, my daughters dad is white and on govt paperwork where biracial is not a choice she's listed as white due to her fathers race.

Jodi - posted on 09/19/2013

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I am white and my husband is black/Indian. We have a 6 yo daughter and as I was having to fill out paper work for school this year I noticed the same thing when it came to checking a box for her race.I checked the box that said other and beside it in big letters I wrote bi-racial. In the hospital I believe they marked her as other because that's the only box that was appropriate for her and we live in Alabama and they didn't mark her as white just because I'm white.

Dawn - posted on 09/12/2013

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I have 3 biracial children. I believe legally because I'm white, my children are considered white. Although a lot of the times I will check both boxes. Or if it benefits them to be one race vs. the other I will check that one.

Lucille - posted on 07/16/2013

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I am biracial myself and have had six kids my mother was present for all except my last one all my children are white except my last is black because people because they assumed i was black instead of mixed

Debbie - posted on 05/24/2013

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The one drop rule still applies for all ethnic/racial backgrounds other than Caucasian non-hispanic. The USA has a long way to go when it comes to racial profiling and understand and accepting diversity.

Holly - posted on 04/24/2013

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I thought the "one drop" theory was no longer used because it's so obviously racist!

Holly - posted on 04/24/2013

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I checked both boxes for both of my sons, but I was told that I had to chose only one. I refused to chose one over the other, so they chose for me. I am white, and they put my first son, who is very fair skinned with green eyes, down as white. They put my second son, who is slightly darker, down as black. I felt somewhat uncomfortable with both judgements, since neither one is completely accurate. I think that the government is going to have to come around to the fact that the standard categories don't always apply. Race is an illusion anyway!

Lacey - posted on 04/07/2013

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Hmmm at my hospital they asked me what I wanted on the papers. My kids are 1/4 Native American and 3/4 White. I still chose to mark the N American box because that's what I identify myself as even though the both took his fair skin and hazel eyes. I guess if the hospital were to fill out the papers they would have been marked as White. It's probably a "what color do they represent more clearly" thing. I myself am 1/2 white and 1/2 native but when people ask me I tell them I'm NA because if I said I'm white they'd look at me funny because I am clearly brown, lol.

Kateri - posted on 04/06/2013

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I am pretty sure that I got to choose the race of my children in the hospital. However, I am white and my children's father is El Salvadorian, and my children look white. There is no choice that says white/hispanic.......there is always a choice saying white/non-Hispanic. I always choose that box and cross off non.....essentially making my own choice to say white/Hispanic.

Lee - posted on 04/04/2013

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My beautiful daughter, almost 19, will be quick to tell you she is black AND white.

That being said, when she was born in Florida I was told she would be the race of the father (black) even though he wanted no involvement in her life and was therefore not on the bc. Of course it's not just since he has never been in the picture. There were so many problems from both races whilst raising her in the south...glad to be out west, barely any issues here ever!

Ashley - posted on 03/28/2013

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That's exactly how I feel. I carried the child and care for the child yet I am not genetically allowed to lay claim to her. It's frustrating.

Ashley - posted on 03/28/2013

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It is very ironic you went through this experience as I go through the exact opposite! I am black and my daughters' dad is white. My daughter looks completely white i.e. fair pink skin, white facial features, blond hair and blue eyes. I am a single mother and her primary care giver yet everywhere I go they insist on marking her ethnicity as Caucasian! Even when I insist they put black especially like places at the daycare where it was very hard for me to pick her up for a while if the same workers were not there when I dropped her off. If I mark black on a form they give me a funny look and then ask what the father is and say they have to go by the fathers race. I don't think this would be happening at all if she looked black or biracial. I think people see what they see and if they have any say in it they mark what they want. I feel this will be confusing for her as she grows up because she is always around her black family members. Sorry for the rant...First post

Nadrina - posted on 02/17/2013

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I'm black and my hubby is Mexican. We have two beautiful boys who were mark as being Hispanic... Which I am ok with. I feel that my children know who they are. Even though the world may be confused about their race. They are pretty sure of themselves. They learn both of our cultures and aren't confused a bit as to who we are as a family... I could care less what the gov. marks on their forms.

Jami - posted on 02/02/2013

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Same thing happened to me. My kids were both listed as black because they go by the mothers race.

Saraya - posted on 01/25/2013

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They did the same thing with both of my kids in the hospital when they were born... They told us that you should always put the "minority". I am white and my hubby (their dad) is black/puerto rican and a tad of white. Our kids really don't even look black so i find it a bit odd for them to be classified as "african american".

So basically complete opposite for me.

Eve - posted on 01/25/2013

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I'm really confused. Recently my child told me they had a survey in school regarding race/ethnicity. First of all, I found it odd that there was no choice for "multi-racial" or "other," and she wasn't allowed to check more than one box. Her teacher basically told her to pick "Latino" because they go by the father's ethnicity, but I did remember hospitals going by the mother's race. Either way, why force a child to pick one or the other? I try to raise my daughter to be proud of her heritage from both sides of the family.

Kelly - posted on 08/28/2012

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It depends on the state you live in and if you are married or not at the time of the birth. I worked for the hospital system in FL and when I had my oldest daughter (who's father is mexican and native american and I am white) we were given the option of checking all her races and her birth certificate lists her as multiracial and then breaks down further. However when I was living in AZ and had my son (who's father is black and we were not married at the time) I was told that AZ follows the "one drop theory" and my son would be listed as black because my (now) husband signed the affidavit of paternity (required if you are not married and want the fathers name on the birth certificate) and he is black. However had he not been present or refused to sign the affidavit they would default to the race of the mother and my son would have been listed as white. When I argued the fact that he was biracial and I wanted his birth certificate to reflect that I was given paperwork to file against the state to get it changed and that would require actually going to court with them. I really didn't feel that was necessary as a piece of paper does not define who my child is and how we raise him is what matters. But all in all it depends on the state you live in and the marital status at the time of the birth. It is not a national policy as far as listing race so the states have their own and often for census purposes

Misty Florine - posted on 08/28/2012

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I knw that the govrnment and organizations require race to be listed on forms when applying for service and occupation. However, during slavery time,African American eventually gained freedom but the proble with racial identiity was never fixed. Scientifically, children has some of their mother genes and even their blood type. Basically, if the mother is white and the father balc,howbeit that the child is only of the father ethnicity. Again, some children have all of their mother blood type and genes so how could a child race be excluded from the woman that carried that child within her womb. This debate has never been challenge to the right people. something needs to be dome about this.This idea is discrimnatory against females. The women carried the children for nine (9) months and is excluded. How about that?





Misty

Victorya - posted on 10/06/2010

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I filled out all my sons documents and I check black and white. I think that people are ignorant to ignore mixed children. I think i should look at some documents to find out if they had been changed from what i put.

Carol - posted on 09/13/2010

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oh wow she lied to you. Everything is under the father, i fill everything out as black,my dads black so im black my kids are white because my husband is.

Shanae - posted on 07/29/2010

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I would like to apologize for the ignorance of some people but don't think I actually have that much time! My husband is mexican and puertorican I am african american with that known "indian factor" in my genes. I have three beautiful children with him, and each time I filled out a BC, I was told that the baby is whatever ethinicty the father is. I, like you was annoyed when I had my son recently and he cleary has a hispanic last name and looks more so....but the lab technican labled him african american only and didnt list the fathers ethiniciy. Don't get me wrong, I am proud to be a beautiful black woman but I was annoyed and a little ticked off....the reason being is that not only do they test your newborn for all sorts of disorders of the blood and etc for the newborn screening but it is important for them to label ALL ethinicites due to the fact that some diseases are more common in certain races. I was very suprised that in this day and time that that professional wasnt more thorough with his job. I myself am a healthcare professional and I always ask about ehinicity because it is vital. But it only makes sense....THE sperm comes from the father!

LaWanda - posted on 07/29/2010

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It says other on all of my children's documents. I filled everthing out and anything the hospital filled out says other because that's what I put. I don't want my children classified like that. My husband and myself have a very varied racial background and I think it's inappropriate to place peole in boxes. I wouyld love to check none of your business, but for some reason thats not an option on the forms. LOL

Kelly - posted on 07/28/2010

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I know that it is in fact a policy that they default to the mother's race however there is also an "OTHER" box that can be checked. I am white and my oldest daughter's father was Mexican and Native American. I was delighted when the nurse gave me the forms and I saw "OTHER" on them. Why should my child have to be defined by just one race? Granted we should be able to check off every box that indicates a race our child is and "OTHER" is exactly the best but a better option than just being pigeon holed.

Brandy - posted on 07/23/2010

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i was able to fill out all my own documents. so i marked down that he was black. the nurse came back in and told me i should change it because his father wasnt on the BC. i told her that it doesnt make fully white. needless to say, she didnt bother me about it again.

Shamekia - posted on 07/23/2010

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I have all three of my child's races on her documents. Do not allow them to push you to choose. That is so wrong. I am also mixed and all my paperwork says ethnicity puerto rican, race black. Race is really just what you take it to mean though. Because their are black race puerto ricans and white race puerto ricans. I think that they should have a more diversified list. I used to see multi-racial when I was younger, but not anymore.

Juanita - posted on 07/23/2010

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My son is mixed Blk/wht the hospital was gonna put just black on his documents even tho i didnt have his father on it cuz he wasnt around. i am from montana and there is like no black people here and they r quite racist. it took me a good 2 hours talking to the doctor and the receptionist to have them put black and white on the papers. But it does seem like they do want to put just one race. I dont believe that should be right.

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I don't have race on my teens' birth certificate,nor do I have it on my own(I have a plastic card that tells when I was born,that's what they were giving out in the 60s as BC).I'm mixed as well as my children.My oldest teen is in college and she is half Spanish,so she checks the Hispanic box she is in college,the other two are half-Italian,yet the school puts down Hispanic for them in high school.My friend Carolyn Battle-Cochrane on FB is trying to get things changed for we biracial/multiracial persons.She is biracial herself,befriend her up here on FB.She's trying to get a show with Oprah so we can open up America's eyes to the fact that we want to be declared as biracial/multiracial people and not have to choose one race over the other.She is doing great positive things for the biracial/multiracial communities.It's time to end the one drop rule because it is racist and there are so many children who are biracial/multiracial out there and to come in the future.So,if you're a parent of a biracial/multiracial child,and/or yourself,search her name and befriend her :).

[deleted account]

I was told that we are suppose to default to the father's ethnicity.

**I have the same problem when I fill out documents for myself.. I always have a hard time picking out, do I choose White or do I choose Asian..The problem is, I don't look Asian nor do I look white.. So I just usually pick white..

Emily - posted on 06/29/2010

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wow that's crazy. when my daughter was born we filled out paperwork not them.

Alexan - posted on 06/29/2010

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I'm black and my husband is white. I was told in the hospital that they would default to the father's ethnicity. We haven't fillied out anything with her ethnicity on it as yet, but she will definately be listed as multiracial because we all have a littl bit of this and a little of that in us :-)

Channelle - posted on 06/27/2010

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Honestly I never thought to look. That's a good question though, because I'm white & my daughters father is black. I'm going to have to look into it now. BUT I did recently enroll my daughter in kindergarten & the paperwork asked for race. I left it blank because it stated that you can only pick on & obviously she's more then one. So when I turned in the papers the lady at the front desk told me I had to pick just one, I guess for statistics, & had me put white because I'm white. My mom has told me that I should just choose other & then write American on the blank line...since American's are pretty much all mixed with something.

Diane - posted on 06/26/2010

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The first thing that came to mind is Obama. He is considered the first black president, meanwhile his mother was a white women. I am a mother of a five year old boy who is biracial and if you ask him what colour he is, he will say brown. His father is very dark, but he doesnt live with us and he has two older sister who are white. I dont know what kind of priviliges he will have here in Canada, but I am a firm believer of earning the things that you have. Also, I dont think his sisters would appreciate it if he were to have a better scholarship because of his race. Him being only five, its hard to tell what he will really consider himself as he grows older.I dont believe that his race is listed on any official papers, but if you look at him, he probably looks more black than white except his hair is not as course.

Erica - posted on 06/26/2010

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I am white and my children's father is black. I have been known to mark "other" to their race if I can't choose more than one box. Their father's advice to me when filling out paperwork was to mark whatever box would be the most beneficial to the kids. LOL.

Cassandra - posted on 06/26/2010

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they told me they cudnt b bi racial on legal documets ne more n that i had to choose to put either black or white...they didnt choosefor me...i live in georgia

Cherlyn - posted on 06/25/2010

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No they didn't for mine. I have two biracial children and they are listed as black (I am white and my husband is black).My older three boys are hispanic and white and are listed as hispanic I am white and their father is hispanic). I believe that they go by the dad's race and not the mother's.

Jessica - posted on 06/25/2010

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hahaha oh yeah on my census form, i checked every box there was :) we are all mixed with something.... :)

Jessica - posted on 06/25/2010

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I think that nurse or whoever was full of crap... sorry to say.. but I am White and my fiance is Mexican.... my Arianna is obviously mixed, especially next to the all white babies lol and they actually asked me what she was... lol I was kinda shocked but glad they did ask and not just assume a race. I really do not think they should have to ask when race or whatever that they are. What does it matter? I have yet to see a difference in anything when the population flux's with one race to another.

Shirley - posted on 06/24/2010

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I'm from OK. and there was no mention of my child's race on any of her documents. I'm white and my husband is black

Jennifer - posted on 06/22/2010

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yeah a lot of times they do default to the mother i guess....like my bb white and hispanic they always put only caucasian...my friend is hispanic her daughter is hispanic and black...they only recentlely put both before just the one...i wanted to say they defaulted to african american...even tho mother is hispanic . i think they just pick whatever they want when it comes to biracial babies!!!!!um its annoying to me just like...my baby has two middle names(i know its long) but they only default to 1 initial the c and not the g i am just like he has two initials and he is biracial!!!!!

Betty - posted on 06/20/2010

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I have to say to Julie's post here. Why should all mixed-race children be Black? My daughter is half Chinese (me), half Lebanese (my husband). Are you saying she's black? We're not white nor black. How should all mixed race children be classified as Black.

Also, mixed race children can be born with fair or dark skin. They should be classified as mixed race as that's what they are. Shouldn't have to be generalised to any uniform category. As each Child is unique to their own.

Xylina - posted on 06/19/2010

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well my dad was born in 1930 something his mother was german his dad was black his birth certificate says negro on it and my moms mothers white her dads black hers says black too. mine says black as well. and suprisingly they put down my daughter being white haha her dads half white and half mexican haha

Amanda - posted on 06/08/2010

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on my papers it said to mark all that applied, so I checked two not just one. I'm in California so mybe it's different.

Heather - posted on 06/06/2010

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I just looked on my son's birth certificate and everything else I had and there was nothing about race anywhere. Even looked back on a pic I took of his birth chart and they didn't mark anything down either.
I think there was something I filled out though for him and I marked black and white. And I'd expect that's how he'll mark things for the rest of his life. Otherwise it's just up to him what he'd like to mark himself as. Though it wouldn't seem emotionally fair to whichever parent of the race he chooses not to check off.

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