With some encouragement from outside sources, The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has established new policies that will allow married lesbians who give birth to a child to be listed on the child’s birth certificate. This change in policy is consistent with Vital Record’s practice of allowing men who are married to women to be listed on a birth certificate whether or not they are biologically related to the child being born.
The good news? Married lesbians will be treated similarly to married opposite sex couples with regards to naming on birth certificates. This will make enrolling in school and getting social security cards easier for non-biological parents.
The not so good news? A birth certificate is still just a “presumption” of parenthood. Unfortunately in North Carolina, that presumption is rebuttable by evidence of genetic parenthood. Yes. A DNA test will rebut the presumption of parenthood on a birth certificate. In order to be a legal parent, one of you (the non-genetic parent) will still need to adopt.
Remaining work? Work on getting Uniform Parentage Act legislation in North Carolina (which will help lesbians and gay men and everyone else as well). Take construction class. Subvert patriarchy. I digress.
What do we do now? Get thee a new birth certificate (if you want) by completing the form found at this link: http://vitalrecords.nc.gov/order.htm.
What do we do if we were married when our child was born but it was before marriage equality in NC? Get thee a new birth certificate (if you want) by completing the form found at this link: http://vitalrecords.nc.gov/order.htm.