Main | Monday, December 15, 2008

New York: Gay Parents To Get Both Names On Birth Certificates Of Children

In a major advance for gay parents in New York, married same-sex couples will now be allowed to have both their names listed as parents on the birth certificates of children born via artificial insemination.
The decision, which echoes similar provisions in states that allow gay marriages or civil unions, is one of many changes since Gov. David Paterson ordered state agencies in May to respect out-of-state gay marriages. The state Health Department said Friday it had agreed to the change, which came after a lesbian couple who are expecting a baby filed a lawsuit. The change would apply statewide except in New York City, which is considering revamping its own birth certificate forms to accommodate same-sex couples. Under state law, a woman's husband is automatically deemed a parent of a child the pair conceives through artificial insemination, whether or not he is the genetic father. Gay couples have complained about having to jump through legal hoops to secure equivalent parental rights.
The Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund has challenged Paterson's directive that spousal rights be granted to gay couples married in other states. In September a judge dismissed their suit, but the ADF has filed an appeal to a higher court.

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