Kiara’s older sibling used to tell her she was adopted. A stranger at the DMV told her the same thing. It turns out, they were both wrong. When Kiara Fraizer was young, her older sister tried to convince her she was ‘born on a ship in a pile of doo-doo.’ Kiara wrote it off as annoying and typical sibling behavior and never thought it would come back to haunt her – until she went to obtain her Florida gold star ID. Born and raised in Ohio, Kiara never had any issues getting her ID, but when she showed the clerk her documents to obtain her Florida REAL ID it was clear something was wrong. Kiara’s last names on her Social Security card and birth certificate were different. One document had her father’s last name and the other had her mother’s last name. Confused and bewildered, Kiara could only stare at the two documents while the clerk attempted to explain why this could be happening.
“This [discrepancy] usually happens when you get an amended birth certificate, so you’re adopted,” the clerk told her. Suddenly, she could hear her sister’s words taunting her, “You were born on a ship in a pile of doo-doo, and you were adopted!” But still, Kiara knew this was not true.
In fact, the reasoning for her mismatched documents was much simpler. Her parents had an argument and her dad’s name ended up being omitted from her birth certificate. Thus, the last name on her birth certificate was listed as her mother’s. However, when Kiara got her Social Security card, her last name was listed as her father’s. So there was no record of how her name went from Harris to Fraizer. Now, years later as a single mom with two kids, Kiara needed her gold star Florida ID since she is no longer a resident of Ohio. “I went [to apply] for rental assistance and I got denied because I didn’t have a Florida ID [my Ohio ID wouldn’t work]. Everything else went through but I didn’t have that ID.”
Proving Kiara Fraizer and Kiara Harris were one and the same became a struggle. Five years passed as Kiara searched for a way to fix her mismatched last names. Kiara spoke to her mom, who recommended IDignity where her mom had previously received her ID.
Kiara worked with the two lawyers on staff, Kelly and Sharlene (pictured above), for a few months. “The process just started immediately, no fees, no anything. They knew exactly what to do from day one. This was a big, big milestone because it was a hindrance in my life.”
After going in front of a judge to get her name change approved, Kiara was able to amend her birth certificate to list her last name as Fraizer. Now, Kiara is able to get her gold star Florida ID, be REAL ID compliant, and get her kids into school without any issues.
“They [school officials] want to see your birth certificate to prove you are their parent. I had to tell them the whole story. It looked like I was two people because I had two last names; my kids were Fraizer and I was Harris.”
Finally, after nearly six years, Kiara’s last name matched her identification documents. “[I] feel complete. Having Fraizer on my birth certificate makes me complete and whole with my dad and my family. I’m telling you, IDignity has completed my family. I can call my dad and tell him I will have Fraizer on my birth certificate now!”
In addition, Kiara can now tell her sister that she was NOT born on a ship in a pile of doo-doo!