What Gay Parents Need to Know about Birth Certificates
Establishing parentage for gay parents in surrogacy arrangements is not necessarily accomplished by being named on the birth certificate. There is a common misconception that if your name appears on a birth certificate, this is enough to establish parentage rights. It is important to understand that having one’s name appear on a child’s birth certificate is evidence of parentage but it is not necessarily recognized by other states. If, for example, a gay couple is married, has a child through surrogacy and lives in a marriage recognition state but then relocates to a non recognition state, the non-biological partner may not be considered to have parentage rights in the non-recognition state. This is why attorneys experienced in Assisted Reproductive Technology law will advise that a court judgment is secured that conveys parentage rights. The court judgment may take the form of a pre or post birth order or a co-adoption or second parent adoption.
Establishing parentage is not only essential for the issue of a custody dispute but for other important issues as well such as the non biological parent being able to make medical decisions, inheritance rights, and eligibility for benefits.
It is therefore critical for same sex couples entering into a surrogacy arrangement to make sure that there is a full assessment of the legal issues involved in the state where the surrogate will deliver and the state where the Intended Parents reside as well as an assessment of how best to secure protections in the event of relocation to another state.
Advocates for Surrogacy will ensure that the legal team has evaluated these issues and have worked out the legal process and advised the Intended Parents of what steps will be required to ensure that parentage rights are established.
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