James and Lisa Pennington Respond to Identification Abuse Claims
By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator
James and Lisa Pennington responded today to their daughter Alecia’s allegations of identification abuse.
In a video posted on YouTube on February 9, 2015, Alecia claims that she was home-birthed and her parents neglected to file any birth certificate or record of any kind. They also allegedly never got her a Social Security number, have no school records for her, and have never taken her to a hospital (and thus she has no hospital records). “This leaves me with nothing to prove my identity or citizenship,” Alecia explains. “I am now 19 years old and I’m unable to get a driver’s license, get a job, go to college, get on a plane, get a bank account, or vote.” Alecia’s story has gone viral, with her video being viewed over 500,000 times and reaching the front page of Reddit. Several mainstream news sources have covered her story, including Addicting Info and The Stir.
In response, Lisa posted a YouTube video today but then promptly deleted it:
Fortunately, an individual at Free Jinger transcribed the video. A transcript of Lisa’s comments is as follows:
Many of you have seen the video that our daughter has made and while we would prefer to talk to her privately that has not been an option for us because she has let us know that she does not want us talking to her at all. We have reached out to her and she has not responded. So, we feel like it’s best if we just go ahead and answer some of the questions about the video that she made. She says in the video that she does not have a birth certificate or the documentation that she needs to get a Social Security number or documentation for the things that she needs in her life. And she says in the video that we have refused and we want you to know that is 100% not true.
The thing that is true about her video is that she was born at home. And to our knowledge there was a birth certificate filed, the midwives told us you have to file a birth certificate and as far as we know there was one filed. We do not know what information was put on it and we do not have any copies of that. We are unaware of what was filed when she was born but we have no interest in holding anything back from her and we know you can get a delayed birth certificate which would be a great option for her. Apparently she’s been through a lot to try to get this documentation for herself and we didn’t know about any of that until the video came out. She has not shared anything along the way of her journey of her trying to deal with this. We didn’t know.
But we do know that we are happy to help her and sign whatever we need and give her whatever we need. We have told her we are looking for anything that might help her. And we’ve been looking through file boxes and we haven’t come across anything but we have nothing to hold back and we are perfectly thrilled to give her whatever she needs for her life.
Our older children have drivers licenses and voter registration and they go to college, they fly. They do what they want to do in their life and we want that for her as well. We don’t want to have any say in the choices that she’s making. We don’t want to control her. We love her. Let me be clear. We love her with the depth of a parent’s love. And if you’re parents then you know what that is. And we certainly want only the best for her and we want her to live her dreams. And we care about her having those things.
But we have been left out of the loop and not given the opportunity to help her in the way that we have helped the other kids so we don’t really know what to do. We are being attacked for this – the things she has said in the video and I just want to say loud and clear it is absolutely not true. We want every opportunity for her, we have offered over and over to help her and she has not responded or accepted that help. So whatever she needs now, we are happy to do, whatever we need to sign, we are happy to sign and let her move on with her life. And if she never wants to talk to us again, as heartbreaking as that would be, we don’t want to control that either, because we just want her to have the life that she wants. And so I hope that that answers some of your questions and thanks for stopping by.
There is no word on Lisa’s YouTube account, blog, Twitter, or Facebook page as to why she immediately removed the video after uploading it. Furthermore, several of Lisa’s blog posts about her daughter have been removed from her Pennington Point website. The most notable piece deleted was “The Hardest Post I Ever Wrote,” Lisa’s post from September 24, 2014 where she mentioned that Alecia had fled their home with the help of her grandparents. That post is no longer viewable on the Pennington Point, though HA has archived a PDF of it here.
Then he later repeated the comment with his own name:
We want nothing but the best for Faith. We’ve told her we will sign any affidavit that will help her in the process, and that once she sends it, we’ll get it right back to her. I’ve also offered to meet with her and walk her through the process as we have with our other children.
James also preemptively bought the domain HelpMeProveIt.com, likely to prevent Alecia from using it.
While James and Lisa have a right to respond to Alecia’s allegations, posting — then immediately deleting — videos and making comments under pseudonyms isn’t exactly a persuasive strategy.
** Update, 02/11, 4:45 pm:
James Pennington gave the following explanation for why he and Lisa are domain-squatting on HelpMeProveIt.com...