A 19-year-old Texas woman is gaining attention online after publicly accusing her parents of denying her a way to gain legal identification because of their religious beliefs, The Friendly Atheist reported.
Alecia Faith Pennington's video explaining her claim has been watched nearly 600,000 times since being posted online on Monday. She says that, though she was born in the U.S., her parents did not file a birth certificate because her delivery was carried out at home. She also says that she never received a Social Security number.
"I was homeschooled my entire life, so I had no school records," Pennington says. "Also, never been to the hospital, so I have no medical records. This leaves me with nothing to prove my identity or citizenship."
Pennington also created a Facebook page for her campaign, where she posted a letter saying that state health officials corroborated her statement regarding the lack of a birth certificate. She also said in the letter that her grandmother swore in an affadavit that she knew where and when Pennington was born.
Pennington's mother, Lisa Pennington, blamed the grandparents for helping her leave their house last September in a post on her own blog. The post has been deleted, but The Friendly Atheist reprinted a portion of Lisa Pennington's response.
"We discovered that my parents had been planning this with her without telling us (as you can imagine, an additional part of my grief is not only the loss of my daughter but the total end of the relationship with my parents)," Lisa Pennington wrote. "We also learned that she has been telling exaggerated stories about what is going on inside our home to a godless woman who has been giving her foolish counsel and encouraging her to deceive us and get out."
Lisa Pennington also stated on Facebook that people should "check [their] facts" regarding her daughter's claim, but has not responded to calls to provide specific evidence countering the allegation. She has not addressed the issue either on her blog or its Facebook page.
Watch Pennington's video, as posted online, below.