Cordover Pens Letter on Children of Same Sex Marriage to Tampa Bay Times

Hillsborough collaborative family law attorney Adam B. Cordover recently had a Letter to the Editor published in the Tampa Bay Times.  The letter addressed the unequal legal status of children of same-sex marriages.  You can find the text below:

Marriages still not equal
With the recent Supreme Court decision declaring that same-sex couples have as much right to marry as opposite-sex couples, we may be on the precipice of a renaissance of civil rights and equality not experienced since the 1960s. And just as we no longer classify marriages as being either interracial or segregated, we may soon be in an age when we do not classify marriages as either same-sex or opposite-sex.
But in this state, we are not quite there. And this has profound consequences for Florida’s children.
There is a strong presumption in Florida family law that a child born during an intact marriage to a husband and wife is presumed to be a child of the marriage, regardless of whether both parties are actually the biological parents. In fact, according to a long line of cases, this presumption of a child’s legitimacy is one of the strongest presumptions known to law and is based on protecting the sanctity of the family and the welfare of the child.
The presumption means that both opposite-sex parents will be placed on the child’s birth certificate, and both will be considered the child’s guardians. Both parents will be able to make decisions concerning the child’s education, health care and general welfare, and the child would have the right to inherit from both parents in the event either dies without a will.
And yet, a child born within a same-sex marriage may not be afforded these same protections. As of today, Florida’s Office of Vital Statistics, the government agency charged with issuing birth certificates, refuses to recognize both parents of children of same-sex marriages without a court order. This puts an emotional and financial strain on same-sex spouses not required of opposite-sex spouses to hire attorneys, pay a court filing fee and plead their case in front of a judge simply to be recognized as parents of their children.
For there to be true marriage equality, the children of all marriages must be treated equally. Vital Statistics should list both parents of a child born within an intact marriage — whether opposite-sex or same-sex — on a child’s birth certificate.
Adam B. Cordover, Tampa


To learn more about Florida LGBT family law rights, schedule a consultation with Family Diplomacy at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

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