Jewish baby’s birth certificate returns from Passport Office ripped with ‘Israel’ crossed out

Family says incident reminds them of Nazi Germany as Home Secretary calls for urgent investigation


A sign points towards the new Passport Office building near the ExCel Centre London, England (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The Home Office is investigating after a Jewish family received their daughter’s birth certificate ripped and with the father’s place of birth – Israel – scribbled out.

The parents of the six-month-old baby girl had sent her birth certificate to the Home Office as part of a British passport application.

On Monday, two weeks after the family sent off the application, they were left in disbelief when they received the damaged certificate in the post. The family said it looked like it had been tampered with.

The baby's parents' birth places were both listed as Israel, with the father's crossed out in what appeared to be a biro pen but the mother's place of birth – also Israel – was untouched.

“The Home Office is in charge of our safety, and they deal with these documents – someone within their system scribbled out Israel because of their feelings”, the father alleged.

According to the north London family, the mother had applied for a passport in September which she received without an issue and her birth certificate was not defaced. The father described the “hard bodied, cardboard package” in which the mother’s certificate was returned, which differed from the one that contained his daughter’s form.

This week the envelope that the baby’s birth certificate was returned to the family was “a soft paper thing that was folded, so it could easily be damaged”.

The birth certificate was torn in the corner, but it is not known if this was caused by the flimsy envelope or by an individual who ripped it.

The father told the JC he was “shocked and very worried” and felt “targeted.” He said he hoped that the Home Office would rectify the situation, which he described as “heartbreaking”.

“It’s scary when something like this happens. It’s our baby’s birth certificate.”

Speaking to the Mail, the father went on, “We felt as if we had been taken back to 1930's Germany where the Nazis would put notes on Jewish people's documentation.

“It is completely warped and it hurts my heart that my daughter is not even six-months-old and she has already been discriminated on in the worst way.”

Home Secretary James Cleverly replied to a tweet about the form on X (formerly Twitter) and said he had asked officials to "investigate this urgently" and see that "appropriate action is taken".

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat also confirmed that the Home Office was looking into the matter.

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay described the reports as “absolutely shocking” and told Sky News: “We absolutely need to get to the bottom of what’s happened. I know the home secretary is absolutely focused on taking action to address this.”

The Home Office did not want to make any further comment about the investigation.

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