The Virginia Equality Bar Association welcomes action taken by Virginia’s Registrar for Vital Records to ensure that the children born to same sex married couples have the same legal protections of children born to opposite sex married couples. Janet Rainey, the Registrar for Vital Records, sent a letter instructing a hospital in Suffolk. instructing that the birth certificate of a child born to two women who are married to each other should list both parents on the birth certificate. A copy of the letter can be found here.
In a separate but related story, amended Virginia birth certificates will be available for all Virginia-born children whose two moms were married at the time of the birth, even if the birth occurred before the marriage was legally recognized in Virginia and even if there is no order of adoption. In response to a letter from the ACLU of Virginia that you can find here, Rainey is also accepting applications to amend birth certificates to reflect both moms as parents, if the moms were married at the time of the birth, and even if the birth occurred prior to the February, August, or October 2014 court decisions requiring Virginia to recognize those marriages.
These two stories bring meaningful change for the wives of birth mothers, who for years have been denied the presumption of parentage afforded to similarly situated straight men whose wives gave birth following artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization.
The modification of birth certificates requires submitting a certified copy of the marriage certificate along with a new “Acknowledgment of Parentage” form, signed by both parents, indicating that both of them recognize Victoria as a parent. Review the letters linked above for additional information about how to ensure that the form is properly processed.