Gay parents in Texas want both names on birth certificate

Families fighting for birth certificates.

DALLAS (AP) — Several same-sex couples in Texas who now can marry by law are pushing for birth certificates to be changed to allow the names of both parents, not just mother and father.

Spokeswoman Carrie Williams of the Texas Department of State Health Services said that officials are reviewing last month’s Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to determine if changes must be made to birth certificates, among other forms and records.

“Once we complete that analysis, we would make any necessary changes as soon as possible,” she said in an email.

Texas birth certificates include a space for one mother and one father on the form, and gay couples seek the removal of gender-specific language from the document and its application forms.

“No matter what kind of family you have, you’re still a family,” said Molly Maness-Roberson, 27, of Burleson. “I feel like you should be recognized as such.”

She was impregnated from her wife’s egg and an anonymous donors’ sperm, and gave birth to a baby boy in early July. Hospital officials told her that Texas wouldn’t list both her spouse on their son’s birth certificate, which can be used to help establish parental rights and to qualify a child for financial support and health benefits.

“It just really breaks your heart, that’s the only way I can describe how I felt,” Maness-Roberson said.

Around 9,200 same-sex couples are raising children in Texas, according to the Williams Institute, a nonpartisan think tank at a California university.

Crystal Gonzales and Kristin Gonzales, both 31, of Aubrey, were among many Texas couples who married on the day the court issued its ruling on gay marriage. Their daughter, Chloe, was born days later.

The couple scratched out the word “father” and jotted down Crystal’s name on the birth certificate form. They plan to stencil a message above their daughter’s crib in her nursery: “Dreams really do come true.”

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