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Same-Sex Parents Prevail In Birth Certificate Dispute

Wisconsin Records Officials Change Document To List Both Mothers' Names

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Wisconsin’s Vital Records Services office has issued a new birth certificate for the daughter of a same-sex couple. The new document with both mothers’ names on it was issued after the couple filed a lawsuit demanding the change.

One-year-old Olivia is the daughter of Kami Young and Karina Willes but until this week, her birth certificate only listed Young as the mother. The couple is one of several who sued successfully to repeal Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban. American Civil Liberties Union attorney Larry Dupuis argued that case as well as the suit pressing for a corrected birth certificate. He said the issue of parental rights is facing challenges in several states.

“It’s obviously one of the most important reasons that people get married is to raise families and have those protections that go along with marriage and parenthood.,” Dupuis said. “Ultimatley we’re hopeful that there will be relief for everybody in this kind of a situation.”

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Dupuis said there is a class action lawsuit pending in federal court now that could resolve the issue for all same sex couples.

Dupuis said that soon after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that same sex marriages are legal nationwide many, state began routinely including the names of both same sex parents on their children’s birth certificates . But there has been resistance in some states like Mississippi to acknowledge the parental rights of both partners in same sex marriages. He said other states continue to prohibit same-sex couples from adopting children.