Both names on the birth certificate? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 12-06-2008, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it legal/possible to have both parents automatically on the birth certificate? My partner has a non-gendered name and we have the same last name...we're really considering putting both of our names on the birth certificate.
Could this present a problem later? Is this legal?

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#2 of 19 Old 12-06-2008, 07:48 PM
 
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It depends on where you live, and whether or not they allow second parent adoption by same sex couples. DW and I are both on the birth certificate, but this happened when they amended the birth certificate after the second parent adoption we went through. We live in MA, and even though we are now legally married, and would presumably be able to both be on the birth certificate for the next child from the get-go, we would still go through the second parent adoption for if we every don't live in MA. So I'm really answering two separate questions...the birth certificate one, and the second parent adoption thing...

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#3 of 19 Old 12-06-2008, 08:26 PM
 
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We consulted an attorney for the second parent adoption and were specifically told not to include DW on the birth certificate upon our daughter's birth. The attorney said having DW on the birth certificate could potentially cause problems. We did not ask what kind of problems. We just figure my name will go on when she is born and DW's when the adoption is finalized.
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#4 of 19 Old 12-10-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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I read in a Nolo book that it was specifically important NOT to list the second parent on the birth certificate. I'd suggest waiting for the adoption to go through before adding his name to the birth certificate.

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#5 of 19 Old 12-10-2008, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, we can't afford second parent adoption, so that's not an option.

Ive heard of a case in NJ in which both parents put their names on the certificate and when they were told they couldn't, they sued and won. Not that we can afford to sue anyone, either, but...

Doesn't it seem unfair that we can't just put the 2nd parent on and have to PAY for adoption that costs nothing to straight people? Even if I ended it with my baby's father and married another man while pregnant I could put HIS name on the certificate. WHAT then is the difference here? (I'm not straight, this was just an example.)

It's just wrong...

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#6 of 19 Old 12-10-2008, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jennaba View Post
I read in a Nolo book that it was specifically important NOT to list the second parent on the birth certificate. I'd suggest waiting for the adoption to go through before adding his name to the birth certificate.
What's NOLO?

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#7 of 19 Old 12-10-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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Depending on where you live (I can't tell if you live in NJ or were just citing the NJ case), adoption costs vary WIDELY. If you happen to live in NJ, they may be on the cheaper end because there are pretty substantial legal protections there (and this may be why such a suit went through, but I'm not an expert on NJ law by any stretch). In some states, second parent adoptions are "easy" enough that you can even do them yourself with some know how and an example from a friend. So do check around locally before you assume a second parent adoption is out of the question, and certainly don't do anything that will jeopardize an adoption down the line, should finances improve. Really. I can't overestimate how much it means to me as a non-bio-mom to have that protection. In MA, where they are fairly easy, and yes, you do need one in addition to marriage to be protected during travel or a move, costs range from $500-$2000 (I've only hear the $500 number from one person though, they got a deal).

From another thread though, your partner is Trans right? All of my answers assume a same-sex couple (as viewed by the legal system), so depending on your partner's status with regard to legally recognized gender, this all could be different.

I'm Lyn (32) wife to Gail (38) Mama to Leigh (born 6/06 ,via Gail) and Ira (born 5/09, via me)
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#8 of 19 Old 12-10-2008, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My partner's trans, but not legally male, because he won't take hormones.
I'm in NY State and I heard it's $2,000 for second parent adoption. I know a lawyer who's gay and who would probably cut me a deal, but I still don't think it would be affordable.

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#9 of 19 Old 12-10-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Raene View Post
What's NOLO?
Nolo has a great easy-to-understand legal book for queer couples called A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples.

Jen
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#10 of 19 Old 12-10-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Raene View Post
My partner's trans, but not legally male, because he won't take hormones.
I'm in NY State and I heard it's $2,000 for second parent adoption. I know a lawyer who's gay and who would probably cut me a deal, but I still don't think it would be affordable.
I don't think putting his name on the birth certificate will do anything to legally bind him to the child. Is that what you're hoping for? It's closer to $4k around here for a second parent adoption, so we're save-save-saving away.

Since we're in small town Minnesota with ignorant relatives on the biological side, it's very important for me to be legally recognized as their second parent. I guess it's all a matter of whether you want it to be legal or not.

Jen
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#11 of 19 Old 12-25-2008, 11:01 PM
 
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If you live in NY State this article may be of interest to you: http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wi...,7044666.story

My partner and I are recently pregnant (due in August like you, if my hours of lurking today on the boards has me remembering correctly) and hadn't planned on getting legally married outside of NY but are seriously considering it now. (We had a religious ceremony 5 and a half years ago so the question of whether we wanted marriage etc isn't an issue for us.)

Although the article says they'd still recommend second parent adoption I'd think the fact that you were both listed on the birth certificate would definitely help in situations - and would have to be respected within NY state and other states where same-sex marriage is respected.
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#12 of 19 Old 12-26-2008, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OMG NYC, THANK YOU!!! This is exactly what I needed! I am so excited.
Now...how do we go about getting married in a state where we are not residents? We were married non-legally here in NY in June...but since it doesn't count...can we just hop over to Mass without being residents first?

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#13 of 19 Old 12-26-2008, 11:50 AM
 
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My understanding (although we haven't done the research yet ourselves) is that MA allows out of state couples to get married there now. I'm not sure about CT. I'd assume that this ruling would hold for Canadian marriages.

I'm hoping to start researching in January (after we've gotten over the exciting hurdle of telling immediate family) and will definitely share whatever I can find out. Will you do the same?
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#14 of 19 Old 12-26-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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Yes, you can.

In fact, I can marry you,I am an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church, and I specifically became one in order to perform legal marriages for queers.

I have not yet married anyone, but my plan is to provide marriage ceremonies for free - I don't charge a fee, and a marriage licence is only $35 in The Wee Little Town Where I Live.

As of July, the law banning out-of-state gay marriages was struck down - in fact, it was a law saying that if your marriage wouldn't be recognized in your home state, you couldn't marry in MA.

New York recognizes MA same-sex marriage anyway, as of a few months ago.

MA does have a three day waiting period between when you apply for the license and they issue the marriage license, but you can petition the court to get around that with good cause. Being from out of state is good cause.

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#15 of 19 Old 12-26-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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So does where you live have more legal bearing then where the child is born?

How would this play out if the child is born in a pro second parent adpotion state but parents reside in a neighboring state where no such second parent adpotions are legal. Anyone know?

: DD 8/29/08 and twin boys 11/3/09
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#16 of 19 Old 12-26-2008, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nyc_amu View Post
My understanding (although we haven't done the research yet ourselves) is that MA allows out of state couples to get married there now. I'm not sure about CT. I'd assume that this ruling would hold for Canadian marriages.

I'm hoping to start researching in January (after we've gotten over the exciting hurdle of telling immediate family) and will definitely share whatever I can find out. Will you do the same?

Yes, we'll do the same. I just found the laws too, so it is legal to get married out of state (in Mass). Yay! I want to do so as soon as possible so we don't run into any complications. Wow.

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#17 of 19 Old 12-26-2008, 07:44 PM
 
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So does where you live have more legal bearing then where the child is born?

How would this play out if the child is born in a pro second parent adpotion state but parents reside in a neighboring state where no such second parent adpotions are legal. Anyone know?
It depends on where the parents live, not where the child is born, because the second parent adoption happens after the birth, often months or years later.

It gets very complicated, but there is legal precedent for states to recognize second parent adoptions from other states.

There was recently a case where a lesbian couple had separated and the mother who had given birth moved to Virginia, amazingly, they upheld the Vermont decision. More here, if you want to know about it.

It's important to recognize that second parent adoption and same-sex marriage are very different issues. Yes, they both protect families, but right now, second parent adoption is much more suited to protecting the rights of queer parents and children across state lines, and also more available than same-sex marriage.

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#18 of 19 Old 12-27-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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Thanks for the info papa...you saved me a trip to the lawyers. Since we are in the market for new houses anyways a crazy part of me is thinking we should move to our neighboring state ( 15 mins away) so that I could be on the birthcertificate....crazy i know...

: DD 8/29/08 and twin boys 11/3/09
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#19 of 19 Old 12-27-2008, 05:57 PM
 
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Thanks for the info papa...you saved me a trip to the lawyers. Since we are in the market for new houses anyways a crazy part of me is thinking we should move to our neighboring state ( 15 mins away) so that I could be on the birthcertificate....crazy i know...
Not crazy, it is very important. I sometimes want to move across the river to Windsor... and if it weren't for the possibility of 3hrs at the border everyday, I might consider it.

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