Obtaining a birth certificate just became a little easier for same-sex female couples. The Pennsylvania Department of Health is now advising hospitals that, for same-sex female couples who are married at the time of birth, both spouses should be listed on their child’s birth certificate. This new guidance signals that Pennsylvania’s long-standing presumption of parentage for different-sex married couples applies equally to same-sex female couples now that Pennsylvania is a marriage equality state. The ACLU of Pennsylvania has issued informative FAQ’s on the Department’s new guidance. A longer PDF version of the FAQ’s is also available.
The Department’s announcement coincides with PBI’s release of the third edition of Representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Clients in Pennsylvania, a valuable resource for lawyers who represent LGBT clients. Even though great strides have been made in LGBT rights in the past few years, much work remains to be done, particularly with respect to parentage of children born to same-sex couples. Assisted reproductive technology is just one of many topics addressed in the new third edition. The chapter on domestic issues has been expanded to cover divorce, premarital agreements and common-law marriage. Other topics include issues faced by LGBTQ youth, including bullying and harassment; gender identity discrimination; foster care; First Amendment rights; and school law issues. More information is available on PBI’s website, where you can order your copy of the third edition now.