Florida has not had the best history when it comes to the rights of same-sex couples. For the longest time, the state had a law on the books that gay men and women were forbidden from adopting a child. Florida not only enacted a so-called Defense of Marriage Act statute but enshrined its opposition to same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution. Further, even once Florida courts ruled that the state must recognize marriage between people of the same sex, it was unclear whether the state would permit same-sex divorce.
Fortunately, the state has come a long way. The “gay adoption ban” is no longer on the books. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a ban on the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples is unconstitutional, as is a refusal of one state to recognize a same-sex marriage solemnized in another state. And it has become clear that circuit courts in Tampa Bay and around the state must give same-sex spouses the opportunity to dissolve their marriage.
So, at this point, can two parents of the same sex appear on a Florida birth certificate?
The answer is yes. Though most Florida birth certificates have “mother” and “father” printed on them, the Office of Vital Statistics has a version of the birth certificate for same-sex parents that has, instead, “Parent One” and “Parent Two.”
However, as of today, the Office of Vital Statistics will not issue such birth certificates, nor will it recognize two parents of the same sex, without a court order.
If a woman is married to a man, and she gives birth during the marriage, then the husband can automatically go on the birth certificate. However, if a woman is married to another woman, and she gives birth during the marriage, the woman’s wife cannot go on the birth certificate unless a declaratory judgment or final judgment of adoption is entered by a court.
So, though two men or two women can appear on a Florida birth certificate, at this time it requires a legal process.
Florida has come quite far when it comes to LGBT rights, but it still has not yet caught up with the reality of today’s families.
If you have questions about how you and your partner can both be on a Florida birth certificate, schedule a consultation with Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm at (813) 443-0615 or CLICK HERE to fill out our consultation form.
Adam B. Cordover has been on the cutting edge in fighting for equality for LGBT families. He was collaborative attorney and appellate attorney in Shaw v. Shaw, the first dissolution of marriage action to challenge Florida’s Defense of Marriage Act and constitutional ban against recognition of same-sex marriage. Adam has also spent years helping LGBT families with second parent and other adoption options.