This is the birth certificate that leaves the father off the official record for the first time in nearly 200 years. It shows only a mother and a ‘parent’ – also a woman – for newly-born Lily-May Betty Woods. The baby was born to 38-yearold Natalie Woods. The parent named on the form is Miss Woods’s partner, 47-year-old Betty Knowles.
There is no mention of the father, or donor, as the couple prefer to call the anonymous man whose sperm provided half of Lily-May’s genes through IVF treatment. It is thought to be the first recorded birth to two lesbians since a recent change in the law. Birth certificates were introduced 170 years ago and have always recorded the mother and father, if known.
The 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act paved the way for them for the first time to record two mothers – to the dismay of many Christian groups and campaigners for traditional family values. Until the law changed same sex couples could not put both of their names down for a child conceived by a donor. But the Act meant that children conceived after April 1 last year to same sex couples are entitled to have a birth certificate listing ‘mother and parent’. Traditional male and female couples continue to have birth certificates that list ‘mother and father’. Lily-May was born weighing 7lb 8oz on March 31 in a birthing pool at the terrace home Miss Woods and Miss Knowles share with two cats in Brighton.
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