Mum loses fight to stop baby becoming a Victorian
A NSW mother who gave birth just over the state's southern border has lost a court battle to stop her child from becoming a Victorian.
Janelle Pidgon lives in a rural area outside of Albury and had her baby at the closest maternity hospital in the Victorian city of Wodonga in April last year.
The next month, she lodged an application with Service NSW to have her baby's birth registered in her home state under an arrangement allowing children born in Wodonga to have their births registered in NSW if their parents live in Albury.
Ms Pidgon said she later received a voicemail from a Service NSW staffer who said: "I have lodged your birth registration … at (Births, Deaths and Marriages). He said it was OK to lodge, so fingers crossed that they put it through for you. See you."
In June, Ms Pidgon received a call from an officer at BDM who said a NSW birth certificate could not be issued for her baby because of where she lived and suggested she seek a review by the Registrar.
Ms Pidgon grew "increasingly frustrated" at the delays and sought an internal review but the Registrar of BDM emailed her, saying "I am unable to register (the) birth in NSW".
Ms Pidgon took the case to NCAT to seek an administrative review of that decision, arguing her older child born in Wodonga in 2017 was able to have their birth registered in NSW.
But NCAT Administrative and Equal Opportunity Division senior member Peter Molony said that was a mistake and ruled against her because she does not live in Albury.
"The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages adopts the boundaries of the City of Albury as defining Albury's extent - this results in suburbs and country areas falling within the boundaries of Albury," Mr Molony said.
"However, Ms Pidgon's place of residence is well outside those boundaries."
The same rule applies to Victorian babies who are born in Albury.
Originally published as Mum loses fight to stop baby becoming a Victorian