Call Us Today
Free Consultation 410-321-4994

Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Obtaining Birth Certificates As A Same-Sex Couple

Written by Amar Weisman » March 12, 2014 »

As more and more same-sex marriages take place in the state of Maryland, many of those couples are making the decision to have children. However, as your Baltimore and Towson family law attorney will tell you, same-sex couples might have a hard time adding their names onto their children's birth certificates. The problem arises because many same-sex couples want their children to have the family name listed on the birth certificate, as well as having both parents' names listed as the child's parents.

Currently in Maryland, individuals in same-sex marriages can elect to each keep their own pre-marriage surnames or they can choose to combine them to create a new name. However, when it comes to same-sex couples being able to add their names to their children's birth certificates, some couples may experience a few legal obstacles. 

The Federal Lawsuit That Sparked Conversation on the Subject

According to a recent article in USA Today, an Ohio couple who combined their last names wanted their soon-to-be-born child to have their name and for both of them to be listed on the birth certificate as the parents. However, the state of Ohio does not currently allow for same-sex couples to do so, which is why that couple, along with three other couples, filed a federal lawsuit to include the names of both same-sex parents on birth certificates.

More specifically, the lawsuit notes that "all of the (couples) seek an order that will establish for children and parents in families established through same-sex marriages the same status and dignity enjoyed by children and parents in families established through opposite-sex marriages." According to USA Today, the Ohio Department of Health declined to comment on the pending case; however, it is noted that it is currently appealing a recent decision with respect to a similar suit regarding death certificates.

Oddly enough, it would seem that there would not be much controversy surrounding same-sex couples who are married and reside in states that legally recognize the marriage to be able to be included on their children's birth certificates. Still, many states have their own ways of dealing with the matter. Currently in Maryland, only two women can be recognized as legal parents on documentation. Maryland now allows women couples to be named as parents on a child's birth certificate without the need for a court order as was previously required. However, men, not only in Maryland, but in Oregon and New York, must jump over additional legal hurdles to be included on a birth certificate.

Moreover, in cases that involve surrogates giving birth to a child of a man who is married to another man, the birth certificate procedure will not be affected--if the surrogate is not married and a parentage affidavit is completed and signed, the father who signed will be entered into the system, but his same-sex spouse will need to obtain a court order in order to be listed.

If you are in a same-sex marriage and you have questions about having your name added to your child's birth certificate, contact a Baltimore and Towson family law attorney at The Law Firm of Amar Weisman, LLC as soon as possible.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation 

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free ConsultationThe Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.