Judge rules Indiana must list both mothers’ names on birth certificate
A federal judge has ruled that the US state of Indiana must list the names of both mothers on the birth certificates of their children.
US District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt issued the judgement in favour of eight lesbian couples, saying it was intended to end the “discriminatory” practice of previously only naming the birth mother on the certificates.
Pratt’s judgement reads: “There is no conceivable important governmental interest that would justify the different treatment of female spouses of artificially-inseminated birth mothers from the male spouses of artificially-inseminated birth mothers.”
The couples had argued in their legal action that they were forced to undergo lengthy and costly adoption processes in order to be recognised as the legal parent of their own child.
The state’s attorneys in April had defended the law as it stood, that couples had to go through adoption processes or be in a biological relationship.
The Attorney General’s office has not yet said whether it will appeal the decision.
But a spokesperson for the Indiana State Department of Health said the department “abides by the law and will continue to do so.”
The couples celebrated the ruling, and an attorney for them said the ruling “obviously buttresses our contention that this shouldn’t have been something that was litigated in the first place.”
“These families are now put on the same level as opposite-sex couples,” she said.