Why can't same sex couples be on a birth certificate!!

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  1. Homez78 profile image56
    Homez78posted 13 years ago

    My partner and I are in a same sex relationship, and will have been together 10 years this year.
    We are what I would class as, in a "stable" relationship, have our own house, good jobs, and security.
    We decided not long after brought our house, that we were serious about having a baby.
    So serious in fact that we started the ball rolling and looked into the prospect and how we would go about having a baby.
    Cutting out all the nitty gritty information about how to happened, at the end of the day, it happened!
    Ok, the best thing after having looked into more detail, would have been to have got married, and conceived via a clinic. We did neither of these.
    We conceived via our own methods and was not in a civil partnership.
    As we had not done things in the right way, this now means, that I (being the non biological parent) is not allowed legally to be mentioned on the birth certificate - which frustrates me greatly.
    Why is it "normal" heterosexual couples can be on the birth certificates - regardless if you are married or not, whether you have had IVF, donor, or even a one night stand.
    When is this world going to realise that thins are changing and the world is evolving.
    My only options now, are to adopt OUR child once they have been living with us for 6months. I have to go to the courts to obtain parental rights, so I can take our child to the doctors and school.
    I am a very frustrated mum to be, who is desperate for these type of laws to change.

    1. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      There's a clue in your sentence starting with...."As we had not done things in the right way..."

      1. Cagsil profile image69
        Cagsilposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        roll Unbelievable hmm

    2. profile image0
      Stevennix2001posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Because society still has ways to go to evolve to accept the reality that gay people do get married, and they exist.  In most people's minds, they try to brush off that reality as if it doesn't exist, and it reflects in how politicians pass the laws out for these types of issues.  Personally, I just think it's stupid for society to plainly ignore the rights of gay marriage couples, as we all know fifty years from now all those same laws are going to get amended anyway.  therefore, that's why i thought Bush's petty attempt to illegalize gay marriages was a HUGE waste of time if you ask me.  However, that's just my thoughts anyway.  I'm sorry to hear you're going to have to go through that though.  However, I wouldn't let it bother you too much, as the important thing is that you both are raising the child together as you originally wanted.  That's the most important thing. smile

    3. ediggity profile image59
      ediggityposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      If one doesn't actually contribute to making a child, then they shouldn't be on the Certificate of Live Birth. smile

  2. Lisa HW profile image62
    Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

    In my state (at least as of the 1980's) the name of the father on the birth certificate would be whoever it was the birth mother was married to (at least if they were living together; I don't know about if they were separated), and in fact, that was considered the legal father (even if there were a birth father outside the marriage).  So, when it comes to that kind of thing - the birth-certificate thing can be "weird" with married, heterosexual, couples too.   Maybe since then something has changed, but I've fairly recently heard stories about husbands being ordered to pay child support for babies their wives had  during the marriage, but outside of it.

    One of my sons is adopted, and my name and my husband's name were both listed as mother and father, along with the fact that my son was born in x hospital (which I'd never set foot in).  Again, it can just be weird (but I suppose it keeps things simple in less-than-simple cases).

    Basically, though, there's three ways for someone to be listed as a legal parent:  biology, adoption, or (as I mentioned) marriage (or maybe civil union - I don't know) (and that "marriage thing" is kind of questionable in cases such as I mentioned anyway).  So, I don't see why having to adopt a child one didn't deliver herself is all that big of a problem.   I don't know how the legal work on in vitro or egg donation work, but unless there's some legal paperwork that establishes otherwise, I'm assuming the person who delivers the baby is shown as "mother"....  hmm  Absent the legal documents to establish otherwise, I still don't see adopting the baby as unreasonable.  6 months stinks, but I had my son for close to 3 years from his birth before I got official word the adoption was going through,  and just about 3 years before it was finalized.

  3. Homez78 profile image56
    Homez78posted 13 years ago

    There is nothing wrong with adoption, just frustrating that we have to go through such a process to be named as the other mother. I agree birth certificates are very weird, and not that well thought out in my eyes.
    Laws are slowly changing - just not changing fast enough

    1. Lisa HW profile image62
      Lisa HWposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I can see how it could be frustrating, but I guess my main points were (if it makes you feel any better hmm) that it isn't just the kind of thing that goes on with same-sex couples.  My son was cleared for adoption years before we had the official word, and years before it was finalized.  I had the choice to bond as mother and son (because that's the healthiest thing for any baby); or else to safeguard my own (and his) heart by "remaining removed".  That wasn't much of a choice, so I went ahead and bonded with him, the same way I did with the two babies I'd later have myself.    It was way, way, worse than frustrating.  It was out-and-out scary (to imagine that something might go wrong) and he'd end up being separated from the only family he'd ever known.  I know your thread isn't about adoptions in general (or me and my son).  As I said, my main point is that it isn't just same-sex couples who sometimes have some hoops (and scary ones) to jump through.

      It doesn't make the immediate issue any better for you, of course; but the six months will fly; and 20 years from now (heck- a year and a half  from now) it won't matter.  Best wishes and congratulations on the baby.   smile

    2. IzzyM profile image89
      IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry but how can you go on the birth certificate as you are neither the baby's mother nor father?

      You can adopt, certainly, but you can never be on that's child's birth certificate exactly because you are a non biological parent.

      1. melpor profile image89
        melporposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with Izzy, the names of the parents who produced that child must be on the birth certificate. It is a public record. The reason being one day that child will like to know who are his or her  biological parents.

        1. Maddie Ruud profile image72
          Maddie Ruudposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          If it were all about recording biological parents, wouldn't they do a paternity test on every child upon birth?  Also, plenty of children have no father listed on their birth certificate at all.  If it were so important to have a public record of people's biological parents, they'd insist on going out and finding him.

          What about sperm donors, or egg donors?  They aren't listed on the birth certificate.  Whoever is going to be parenting the child is.  By this logic, same-sex couples should be allowed to be listed as parents.

          1. profile image0
            Stevennix2001posted 13 years agoin reply to this

            well said maddie. smile

          2. Lisa HW profile image62
            Lisa HWposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            I'd think, though, in this case, it may be the absence of a marriage certificate or civil-union record that could be making the difference - not the same-sex factor?  If a single woman donates an egg and isn't listed as the mother, there's that.  If a single woman uses in vitro and/has a donor, she won't (usually, I don't think) list anyone as the father.  So either way, the person who delivers the baby is listed as the mother (usually, as far as I know).

            For the "whoever will be parenting the child" reasoning, that's where adoption officially makes the non-birth-giver the legal mother.  In the case of adopting a child, when I did that they automatically changed my son's birth certificate (upon finalization) to make me his legal mother and give me all parental rights (and my husband his father, etc.).   Had my husband and I not been married at the time, he wouldn't have been listed as my son's father (unless he were adopting as a single guy, in which case I wouldn't have been listed as our son's mother).

          3. profile image0
            Motown2Chitownposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Maddie, I didn't see this post before I added my own.  Glad I just noticed it.  My post deserves this qualifier:  in the event that it is KNOWN who the biological parents are.

        2. Lisa HW profile image62
          Lisa HWposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          A lot of people don't agree with this practice, but the names of whoever produced a child are not always public record.  In cases where the biological "producers" won't be raising the child (because of adoption or sometimes donors).   Some "producers" of a child expect privacy and/or anonymity, and their right to that is protected by laws in a lot of cases (and at least up to a point).  In closed adoption the parents (adopted parents) may not want the child to know the names of his birth parents when he's young either.    Even in closed adoption, though, most adoptive parents make sure their child is given the names of birth parents when he's of an age they deem appropriate.    Open and adoptions and/or unsealed records give adoptees the opportunity to have that information, but the names of birth parents/donors are not public record.

          My son's birth certificate shows the names of the only two parents he has ever known - me and my husband.  It may seem a little strange, in a way; but it allowed him to have the same kind of birth certificate every other kid has - with his two parents' names on it.    It didn't prevent him from having access to his birth mother's name, and it didn't prevent her from making the first move in trying to meet him.

          Not everything goes into public record (and often, rightfully so and in the best interests of everyone involved).  Not being on public record doesn't equal being kept a secret - it just means not being made public.

          1. melpor profile image89
            melporposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Lisa HW, most legal records such as divorce papers, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and death certificates are public records. They are all over the internet and in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. All these records comes in handy for genealogical research for families tracking their family history.

      2. profile image0
        Motown2Chitownposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Actually, my best friend has three adopted children.  She and her husband are listed as their parents on the birth certificates.  I believe the laws vary from state to state.  Personally, even for adopted children, I believe that a birth certificate should have the name of the child's biological parents on it.  In terms of medical history, I feel it's terribly important, especially in the event of some sort of congenital illness, that the adopted child, upon reaching majority age, be able to research their biological parents for that reason alone - not even so they can "meet" them, as that may be neither their desire, nor the desire of the biological parent.  Just my take on it.

  4. freecampingaussie profile image60
    freecampingaussieposted 13 years ago

    I always thought that it is supposed to be  the biological parents names of the male and female who contributed to the birth on the birth certificate , then if you adopt or are married to someone else you have an adoption form to keep.

    The father means the person who contributed the Sperm & the mother who gave birth .
    Later on the child might need to find the fatherbecause of health reasons passed down as it some times happens and they use the birth certificate to track them down so it is important often to have details as it could save a life.

    1. Lisa HW profile image62
      Lisa HWposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      At least in my state (and at least as of the early 80's) the birth certificate was changed, and there was also an adoption certificate.  Unsealed adoption records, or records unsealed for a good reason, are usually the way people can track down birth parents (if their adoptive parents weren't willing to share the names and dates even in the event of medical circumstances).  Birth parents could pass important information to adoption agencies if they're the type who will do that.  (My son's birth parents were not.  I had to be the one to make sure I got as much medical history from the social worker as possible, and I requested she get his delivery information and some basics about the birth mother through hospital records.)

      Eventually, a third-party agency contacted my son when he was 21; and he was put in touch with the birth family - and was given all the information anyone had.

  5. Pandoras Box profile image59
    Pandoras Boxposted 13 years ago

    Hmmm, this is one I can't agree with.

    The birth certificate does not necessarily designate custody; the purpose is to record the biological parents. Of course we don't give paternity tests and asks embarrassing questions, that would be in poor taste and was traditionally not usually necessary. Might even have started unfortunate fights, to suggest the husband was not the father.

    Times have changed, and perhaps it should always be stressed that only the biological father should be listed. Or perhaps we should change as a society and say that biological parentage is now completely irrelevant, irrelevant in some instances? Provide optional spaces for non-biological caregivers who wish to be considered as parents? I don't know.

    But as things stand now, the birth certificate is supposed to record biological parents unless the courts have sealed the records or the biological father is an unknown.

    Especially considering that you attest there is a way it can be done, I can't really see this as a deprivation of anyone's rights. Having a child is a pretty big thing, and obviously there would be legal and custodial questions which probably should have been looked into before you did things on your own.

    I could be wrong, maybe I'm missing something, but you title the thread saying they can't, and then say in your OP that they can, if they follow the proper procedures which you apparently didn't. I don't know what to make of this. I suppose there may be a few extra hoops to jump through. I'm not surprised since such situations are still not exactly mainstream.

    1. Eve Foss profile image71
      Eve Fossposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      It stinks that you have to adopt, but at least it is an option for you. Here, the non-bio parent has no legal rights whatsoever. And the birth certificate is more about who the legal rights and responsibilities belong to rather than a biological tracking record.

      1. Pandoras Box profile image59
        Pandoras Boxposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I have no idea what you're talking about. That said, the problem as you describe it is in equal adoption rights.

        1. Eve Foss profile image71
          Eve Fossposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Sorry. I was speaking in reference to the OP.

    2. Lisa HW profile image62
      Lisa HWposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not sure the practice of changing the birth certificate is necessarily something anyone thought was a great idea (or at least that people of my adopting era thought was the perfect idea).  There was a time when the birth mothers wanted absolute secrecy about having a baby, and this was a way to protect that.  A birth certificate kind of just says someone was born, when, and where.  They had to list parents for newborns/babies, and if birth parents didn't want to be listed someone had to be.  In other words, I don't necessarily think "everyone" thinks this is "the best".  It's just how it's been done (although secrecy isn't necessarily the reason in a lot of adoptions any longer).

      Birth certificates aren't about custody, but they are about permanent, irrevocable, parental rights.  Parental rights are terminated in adoptions, and the child is left without parents until he is adopted.  Birth certificates (as they are now) say, "Here's this child who born where and when, and here's his parents."  Legally, once a child has been relinquished for adoption and/or once parental rights have been permanently terminated, that child has no parents; but a child can't be adopted until the rights of birth parents have been terminated.  There's a big difference between custody and parental rights.

      I'm not necessarily defending the practice of changing the birth certificate - just saying that, for now, that's how it's often done (but also saying the reasons for it aren't just willy-nilly either).

      My main point (with regard to the OP's situation) is that a child either has two married parents, or one single parent; and unless someone is the biological father, or has delivered the child as the mother, the only way to be a parent is through adoption (unless, again, someone gets some legal paperwork that will make things all set before the child is born).  I just don't see the "non-mainstream" circumstances as the reason there's the adoption requirement (or the standard waiting/probationary period before finalization).

  6. Maddie Ruud profile image72
    Maddie Ruudposted 13 years ago

    Birth certificates are overrated, anyway.  (Unless you're running for president.)  My mother lost mine shortly after I was born, and I turned out ok.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      HAHA!  I still have an actual wallet sized copy of mine.  In the grand scheme of things, I only think they're important for the purpose of researching one's biological(medical) history.  Other than that, just give me a stamped piece of paper that says when and where I was born, and I'm good.  Like your mother, I'm likely to just lose it anyway, and getting another copy is a pain in the patoot!

      1. Maddie Ruud profile image72
        Maddie Ruudposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        It's probably a big conspiracy to hide my true birthplace so that I can run for president some day.  My mother is Canadian, after all.  They're crafty. tongue

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          My aunt is a dual citizen - Canadian/American.  They're the craftiest, in my opinion.  No worries, though, I'll vote for you.  smile

  7. bobsimpson profile image58
    bobsimpsonposted 13 years ago

    The only way that a same sex couple can both be on a birth certificate is to cuddle together on a 4 foot x 4 foot photocopy enlargement.

  8. prettydarkhorse profile image61
    prettydarkhorseposted 13 years ago

    The laws need to change about the definition of family giving rights to all people concerned irregardless of sexual orientation.

  9. Nicole Breit profile image60
    Nicole Breitposted 13 years ago

    In Canada, both parents are on the birth certificate, regardless of gender. If you are two women who, together, decided to have a baby and intend to co-parent, you are on the birth certificate. There is no reason why your intention to parent - regardless of your gender or whether the child shares your genes - should not be enough to allow you to be on the birth certificate. If you, together with the child's biological mother, decided to have a child, the child wouldn't exist without your support, and the biological mother acknowledges your parenting role, you belong on the certificate as a parent. I hope for your sake that the law changes in your favour.


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