A friend of mine is adept at plotting crimes. She doesn't actually commit them, at least as far as I know. [But can anyone really ever know?] She just wonders how to pull them off.
Awhile back, Pete and I had a command performance with the US Postal Service when we took Youngest to get another Passport. They only last for five years, so he needed another one to get him through to the age of majority. You bring a picture, a birth certificate, proof that you and the father are who you say you are, and your kid. Then you swear that the kid is yours. A short time later, the Passport arrives.
And off you go.
It's that swearing the kid is yours that got me thinking about how remarkably easy it would be to bring any similarly aged kid into the Post Office and attest to the kid being your offspring. With that one Passport, that kid is golden. No other proof ever required. Give him one of the notarized birth certificates and the Passport, and he is officially my kid.
All it takes is two people who had a kid at some point to take a birth certificate and any kid into a quasi-governmental office and swear the kid is yours. For all anyone knows, there could be plenty of sleeper kids out there already, Passported up and ready to rock. Or worse.
For the record, I do not have a sleeper kid.