Assignment of Incipient Citizenship
Each child is special, destined to become an essential part of our society. But our lives in this Dome are precarious, and so from the very beginning, we must prepare our children for the severe realities they will face, and these matters must be dealt with before any celebration for the most precious young life. From a speech by Naccarin Sinoru, Medistrue 103 P/DEWhen children are born in Tholaren Dome, there is no doubt that they will be cherished by whoever their caretakers and guardians are. There is also a one in five chance that they will die before the age of thirty. Life in the Dome is not safe, and the procedure following a birth reflects that.
Genetic Record CreationBefore an infant is an hour old, their genetic data is entered into the Genetic Records database, and connected to the data of their parents and thus all other blood relatives. Even if the baby is sickly and dies shortly after, the data is maintained as a valuable insight into possible variations for the future. As this database is a core element to the identity data that will be used for the child's profile, it is the natural first step to take. No matter what happens next, their genome is basic information that will be a part of them no matter what.
Initial Expectations AssessmentAlongside the genetic record, the central AI will then take all available information about the infant and generate a probable outcomes assessment. This assessment will, of course, be adjusted and altered and added to as the child grows and undergoes training. But in infancy, the computer takes the personality of the parents, any demonstrated traits in the child, and the health of the child into account. These predictions are, of course, very generalized. For the most part, they are intended to be the start of an assessment, and not meant to be taken as a rigid guideline as to the exact character of the child's future. Like all future assessments, it is a recommendation, not a prophecy.
Familial DesignationThe next step comes after the baby is deemed to be viable. Failing unforeseen health problems or disasters, the child is determined by the doctors to be capable of surviving. For healthy children, this will take about a week to reach a full determination. For premature births or those with inborn disabilities, it can take longer. If the parents do not already have a child of that gender, the baby is officially assigned to that family and they can name their child and formally claim them as their own, designated as a Constituent. If, however, they already have a child of that gender, a choice is to be made. The majority of families choose to keep their older child with the family to avoid hurting their development, and because a bond has already formed. There are a few cases where the parents will choose to give up the older child because the younger one is more fragile, and a very rare number where they choose the newborn because the assessment declares them to have greater potential in some way. The children who must be given up are Orphan Scions. History has determined that it is better for these children to be raised away from their biological families to avoid resentment cropping up at their altered place in society. It also avoids trauma if the child is eventually evocated, thus being placed with another family. Scion sub-groups, their equivalent of a family, often have very little warning before becoming responsible for a baby. It is not uncommon for children to be passed around between a few groups before being settled with a sub-group able to take care of them. This settling is expected to happen within ten days of the baby being assigned as a scion.
TraumaAs unfortunate as it is, society is too fragile to exist without the natural backups that are the scions. We must, of course, acknowledge the trauma that can take place when a child must become an orphan scion. Infants are typically a week old by the time they are officially assigned to their family or not, which is more than enough time for parents to form a bond with their child. This is right, and natural, but it only serves to accentuate the pain that comes from having to give up a child. But history has shown, time and time again, that the differences in how cardinates and scions must be treated form sharper resentments when raised side by side. Every parent who gives up a child must go to mandatory counseling for a period of at least one year. In the cases where siblings are old enough to be affected, they are also required to participate. In the immediate aftermath of a familial reassignment, friends and family will treat it as source of grief, and will therefore usually help with childcare, meals, cleaning, all to make the loss easier for the bereaved parents. This is meant to have a limit, to avoid dwelling on something that cannot be changed, but we are not heartless.
Actium AuthorizationWith all available information now fully collated in the child's file, and with the child placed with their appropriate family, it is now time for a happier time in the process. Every person in the Dome has an Actium, as a direct link to their own file and the abilities that come with whatever status they possess. Families (cardinate) and sub-groups (scion) will each typically hold a small party upon receipt of the baby's actium. This is typically a celebration of the baby's connection to the past, the fact that they are healthy in the present, and an anticipation of hope for the future. There will often be little party games consisting of guesses that the guests make about the baby's potential future, and presents given along that theme.
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