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California Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages on Birth Certificates

California is currently one of 19 states that allow same-sex marriage. While the history of same-sex marriage in the state is tumultuous, on June 28, 2013, the decision to ban same-sex marriage was overturned, and California joined other states in recognizing the modern American family.

California Redefines the Modern Family

As more same-sex families are established in California, the state is seeking to update laws to accurately reflect the changing American family. A bill that will do just that passed by the state legislature on a vote of 58 to 15 and is currently awaiting signature by Governor Jerry Brown.

This bill would allow one parent to identify as the biological parent and the other to identify as an equally important non-biological guardian. The bill will allow birth certificates of children to have a father, mother, or parent identification. These birth certificates, available in 2016, will allow a parent to identify themselves in the most fitting manner.

Non-Traditional Parent Categories

Here are two examples of states that have allowed non-traditional parent categories on birth certificates:

  • A Tennessee certificate was first to list two mothers, but one had her name in the "Father" category.
  • A Florida birth certificate had three parents listed: both same-sex parents and the sperm donor that wanted a part of the child's life.

With over 15,000 same-sex couples with children in the state, the new flexibility for birth certificate options should not only change the way that same-sex parental rights are established, but should better pave the way for divorce proceedings in relevant cases as well.

Our family law attorneys are skilled in navigating the complexities of the modern family and how these legal documents can affect future family law issues.

Contact Cutter & Lax if your family can benefit from this new birth certificate categorization.


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