Ark. Supreme Court Overturns Decision Allowing Same-Sex Parents To Be Listed On Birth Certificates


LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — On Thursday (Dec. 8) the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed a judges’ decision that same-sex parents could have both parents listed on the birth certificate.

The divided supreme Court dissented with Pulaski County Circuit Judge Timothy Davis’ ruling that keeping same-sex couples from having both parents’ names on children’s birth certificates is depriving them of their constitutional rights. Davis used Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage, to declare that both same-sex parents should be allowed to be listed on a child’s birth certificate.


Curious as to how this would affect adoptee birth certificates. An adoptee generally has two birth certificates: The actual certificate that documents their birth and an amended certificate showing the adoptive parents. Some actions have unintended consequences and this could be one of them. There is sound reason to document the genetic history of any human being.


Don’t birth certificates only list the biological parents, if known? Otherwise, what would prevent someone from putting anybody’s name on it?


It seems to me that birth certificates ought to be truthful as to parentage. Obergefell v. Hodges did not change biology or genetics.



I understand that in some situations it’s impossible to know. But moves like pretending a child can have two male or two female biological parents provides no benefit to the child, even if it protects someone’s feelings.


The ruling isn’t deny the birth parent’s right to have their name on the birth certificate. All it is doing is allowing same sex couples who are the child’s adopted or biological parents the right to be on the birth certificate as well.


To what end? What possible reason–other than the person’s feelings–could there be to include this information?


For what purpose?

If its the record of biological parentage, then putting other folks name on the document isn’t appropriate or necessary.

It is necessary that it be on whatever documents establish them as the legal guardian of the child- adoption paperwork, surrogacy birth agreement— whatever.

That being said, I don’t know if the state does any verification that the father is actually the biological father or if they just put whatever the mother tells them to put on it. In which case maybe just sticking whoever she says to put on it would be consistent.


I think people are making more out of this than it needs to be. Birth certificates are vital records that document the birth and nationality of a child, and thats all. They may or may not provide information about the child’s parentage.


With my children, they took our word for it. Indeed, we were given the form and didn’t return them to the county clerk until a week later. They don’t do footprints anymore either (though they do for the cute fuzzy one they send home for you to frame).

Perhaps it is different in AR.


Which has what to do with the same-sex parent? Certainly not related to nationality. Certainly not related to the birth. So for what purpose then?


This ruling is about sex same parents having the same rights as opposite sex parents. So that’s the reason for the ruling. If you are a parent, you would want your name listed as the parent on your child’s birth certificate even if you are gay or lesbian.


If I adopt a child I don’t expect to put my name on the birth certificate. This isn’t about same sex parents having the same rights, it’s about a form filled out reflecting the biological parents.

ETA: How does AR handle adoptive parents? How do they handle a child that is a product of surrogacy?


First of all, not all children of same sex parents are adopted. Also many adoptions are closed adoptions where the birth parents are unknown or anonymous. There are many reasons for why you may need a copy of your child’s birth certificate and why you may want to have your name listed on that birth certificate as their parent, and if so, you should be legally allowed to do that. Why, because you are their parent (i.e., father or mother).


But … but … discrimination.

I find it mindboggling that people could be so deluded to actually think that a child could biologically have two mums or two dads. Every child biologically has one mum and one dad, and the birth certificate should logically reflect that.

Even the claim of 3 biological parents I believe is fallacious, because in those instances from my knowledge, they have their mum and dad, and it’s simply a chromosome or something taken from a 3rd party and included, so they still have two parents, a mum and a dad.

Good thing common sense won.

God Bless

Thank you for reading


Ok. But for same sex couples, at least one isn’t biologically related to the child.

As I alluded to, if Arkansas puts the names of adoptive parents on birth certificates, or if they put non-biological parents on the birth certificate of surrogate children they aren’t biologically related to (i.e. used a sperm donor or egg donor), then I would think to be legally consistent there wouldn’t be an issue with instead putting two mothers or two fathers on the certificate- if they are going to legally be considered the parents (i.e. the document isn’t an attestation to the state by the hospital on who the biological parents are)

Really should be driven by the purpose of the document, not what people want for their own ego/feelings. Again, a lot of other documents which record who is legally the custodian/guardian/parent of the child.

In fact, a man who takes a child into his home and presents the child as his publicly (states have different duration where the presumed parent kicks in) is considered the father- regardless of what is on the birth certificate or even the result of DNA testing.


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