>Check M or F?

>I made an interesting discovery today.  The mom that I nanny for left the baby’s birth certificate on the table (she was recently taking him to get a passport), and I noticed that the parent lines say “Mother/Parent” and “Father/Parent” and have check boxes next to them with M and F to check.  This is just like the marriage licenses in Massachusetts that don’t say Husband/Wife, just party A and B or something like that, with sex selection boxes.  Why is this important?  Lilian’s birth certificate says “Mother”: me. “Father”:________
So, some back story.  You can go here and read the “long story” of our two marriages… http://lilfamily13.blogspot.com/2010/07/i-now-pronounce-you.html . But the relevant part is, that even though we had a legal civil union in 2007 in New Jersey, we got a legal “marriage” in Massachusetts in 2008 just 5 days before Lilian was born.
And here’s why… the way I understand paternity laws is that if a couple is married, it is automatically assumed that the husband is the father of any child born during that marriage.  So even if they use a sperm donor/bank, the husband is automatically listed as the father on the BC (birth certificate) with no need for proof.  Even if it’s obviously impossible (if a man loses his fertility due to illness or injury), he is legally the father.  And so in 2008 when the governor passed the law that New York State will recognize ALL legal marriages with all the same privledges, we assumed (and hoped) that this one would count.  Since Missy and I were legally married, in the hospital I listed “Melissa HerLastName” as the “father”, since that’s the terminology they used.  When Lilian’s BC came a month later, I appeared alone.
Can we get Missy on the BC?  Yes.  Through adoption, which is legal in NY (same sex adoption), but that requires lawyers, court visits, social workers, etc.  And most importantly, money we don’t have or WANT to spend on that.  The BC should have come that way, for free, and we shouldn’t have to deal with this hassle.
But now that the New York BC’s look different, maybe it is more standard.  Maybe since Lily was born just one week after the law was changed, someone in town hall just messed up and didn’t know better?  But I want it reissued, and I want it for free.  I believe we’re entitled to it.
I plan on calling/writing to the city hall where she was born, or Albany if I have to.  I hope I can get it cleared up easily.  But if not, I want to fight it in court.  I don’t want an adoption, I want the original BC reiussed.  And I think any other couples in our situation should get the same.  So my next step will be to find a civil rights lawyer that would like to take this on, pro bono.  Hopefully it won’t come to that.  But tomorrow I’m going to start making calls.
If anyone knows anything about this that I don’t, i’d love to hear your feedback.

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Posted on February 10, 2011, in gay/lesbian, lilian, marriage. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. >interesting – i didn't realize that missy was left out of the birth certificate! hopefully you're right about it having been just too soon after the law was passed, and you'll be able to get a new BC quickly and easily (and free-ly)!

  2. >I hope you can get it worked out but if you can't definitely do the adoption. IT's worth it for all of you.

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