BY AJ TRAGER
LANSING – The State of Michigan Vital Records Department has decided to allow the spouse of a biological parent to be placed on a child’s birth certificate for female married couples.
Confirmed by Jennifer Smith, public information officer with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, if a female couple was legally married in any state prior to the child’s birth, the non-biological parent will not have to file for second-parent adoption and will be listed as the second parent on the child’s birth certificate.
Any lesbian couples that were unmarried at the time of the child’s birth will still be required to apply for second-parent adoption.
“My understanding is yes, if two women are married and one of them gives birth, that both parents will be listed on the certificate,” Smith told BTL. “If they were legally married at the time of the child’s birth, then we would amend the birth certificate without an adoption.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is going through significant changes as the Department of Community Health and the Department of Human Services continue to merge. Smith reports that the state is looking for a consistent system that is uniform nationwide and is looking at what other states are doing to verify that there are no complicating factors.
“Hospitals will still issue temporary mother/father certificates, but they are welcome to change that — they can cross it out. Then we are made aware and we will file a replacement and issue a birth certificate that says ‘parent and parent,'” Smith said.
Unfortunately, for gay male same-sex couples with children, a second-parent adoption is still necessary if both parents want legal recognition of the child.