Married same-sex couples in Florida can now receive birth certificates that list both parents. On Thursday, May 5th, the Department of Health instructed all hospitals and birthing centers in Florida to begin issuing birth certificates to married same-sex couples who have given birth to a child that list them as “mother” and “father.”
The Department is also issuing these amended birth certificates to same-sex couples who previously had a child during their marriage. This directive comes 16 months after marriage equality became law in Florida and ten months after three couples and Equality Florida Institute sued the Department of Health for the legal right to receive an accurate birth certificate listing both same-sex parents.
Equality Florida’s Hannah Willard provided the following statement:
“Florida has dragged its feet long enough—it is some relief that married same-sex couples are finally receiving birth certificates that include both parents, though they are inaccurately listed as ‘mother’ and ‘father.’ The Department’s long overdue directive does not resolve all legal issues for same-sex couples and their families, and litigation is ongoing to ensure that all parents are treated equally and appropriately under the law.
We encourage all couples who have been affected by this injustice to apply for an amended birth certificate right away and to request an inclusive and gender-neutral birth certificate as soon as they become available. Along with our legal partners, we still strongly recommend that all same-sex parents complete a confirmatory adoption or other court order recognizing them as parents even if they are on their child’s birth certificate. This is the only way to ensure that you will be recognized as a parent if you move or travel outside of the state. A birth certificate can be used to prove you are a parent at your child’s school, a doctor’s office, and other local places, but only an adoption or court order will 100% ensure your legal rights as a non-birth parent in Florida and all 50 states for all purposes.”
Couples can visit the Florida Department of Health’s website for more information. In order to waive the $20 amendment fee listed, couples should contact Betty Shannon at the Office of Vital Statistics at: (904-359-6990), Betty.Shannon@flhealth.gov.
Instructions for requesting an amended birth certificate can be found here: http://goo.gl/38TqK9.
The amendment form can be found here: http://goo.gl/RrOHPH.
Equality Florida Institute is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
[From a News Release]