UPDATE: FL Now Issuing Birth Certificates That List Married Same-Sex Spouses

Florida Department of Health Now Issuing Birth Certificates
That List Married Same-Sex Spouses

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 sued the Department of Health for the legal right to receive an accurate birth certificate listing both same-sex parents.

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.’ But since the Department’s long overdue directive does not resolve all legal issues for same-sex couples and their families, 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. 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), [email protected].

While receiving accurate birth certificates is an important step in recognizing our families, our legal partners still strongly recommend that all same-sex parents complete a confirmatory adoption or another court order recognizing you as a parent 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. Check out our LGBT Family FAQ for more answers to your legal questions.

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