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Court: Iowa must list both married lesbian mothers on child's birth certificate


IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Supreme Court says the state health department must list the names of both spouses in a same-sex relationship on a child's birth certificate.

The court ruled Friday that the department must include the name of the non-birthing spouse in a lesbian marriage as a legal parent to any child born during the union.

Justices say that a state law that allowed only the "name of the husband" to appear on the birth certificate violates the equal protection clause in the Iowa Constitution.

The ruling is a victory for Heather and Melissa Gartner of Des Moines, who sued after the department listed only Heather as a parent of their daughter in 2009.

The couple married after the Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in 2009.


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What happens to the birth daddy's rights?

Scott, it's likely the couple used a sperm donor, probably anonymous.

In the case of ALL adoptions, the parental rights of both biological parents must first be terminated by a court. Commonly, this termination process is voluntary but in cases of severe neglect or abandonment, the process can be involuntary. This would be the same for all couples.

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