Justices ruled 6-0 to require that the IA Department of Public Health begin listing both married parents on a newborn’s birth certificate regardless of sexual orientation.
Melissa and Heather Gartner brought the lawsuit after the state refused in 2009 to list both of their names on the birth certificate of their daughter, Mackenzie. Heather had given birth to the baby conceived via sperm donor.
“It is important for our laws to recognize that married lesbian couples who have children enjoy the same benefits and burdens as married opposite-sex couples who have children,” the opinion said.
“By naming the nonbirthing spouse on the birth certificate of a married lesbian couple’s child, the child is ensured support from that parent and the parent establishes fundamental legal rights at the moment of birth. Therefore, the only explanation for not listing the nonbirthing lesbian spouse on the birth certificate is stereotype or prejudice.”