California Bill Could Allow Same Sex Parents To List Selves On Birth Certificates


AB 1951, a bill that would allow a child’s birth certificate to reflect same-sex parentage, is making its way through the California assembly after passing with a preliminary 50-8 vote. Sponsored by Equality California and written by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, the bill now awaits approval from California Governor Jerry (D.)

Currently birth certificates issued in California only allow for a child’s parents to be identified as mother and father. In the past, parents were only given the option to leave father blank in the event, for example, a child were born to two mothers. In addition to allowing for same sex couples to be listed as the legal parents of a child, AB 1951 also allows for a third, non-gendered identification “parent.”

"Every child deserves a parent or parents who love them, and AB 1951 will ensure an accurate representation of the child's family.” said Equality California’s executive director-elect Rick Zbur in a press release. "Birth certificates reflect real rights and responsibilities, and it's important to have them reflect the progression of what defines family."

More than a semantical issue, AB 1951 seeks to address the needs of California’s growing population of over 15,000 same-sex parents. Inaccuracies on birth certificates, even those resulting from the lack of proper identification boxes being provided, can cause significant problems for parents seeking to gain access to necessary identity governmental records, or enrolling a child in school.

Read AB 1951's full text, AFTER THE JUMP…



  1. Jay says

    Our daughter, who is adopted, was born in North Carolina. After our adoption finalization in Georgia, we received a new birth certificate from North Caorlina listing both of us as Parents. Get with the times, California! LOL

  2. Vince says

    I don’t understand why adoptive parents are listed on a birth certificate. Shouldn’t the bio-parents be listed on the certificate and adoptive parents in court/legal documents?

    Just wondering about the convention.

  3. Nora Charles says

    I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, a birth certificate is being used as an identification of legal parentage so it is good and right that both legal parents would be identified as such. On the other hand, the birth certificate is also a registration of that person’s *birth* and sociology aside, humans only ever come into being when a male and female procreate. That is an immutable fact. When a birth certificate is altered, a person’s record of their own birth and ancestry is obliterated and given that a birth certificate belongs to the child and not to the parent, I’m not sure parents should be entitled to make that decision on their behalf. I wonder if a separate document of legal parentage would be preferable.

  4. simon says

    “humans only ever come into being when a male and female procreate. That is an immutable fact.”
    Nothing immutable about it contrary to what a certain cult said.
    You ever heard of cloning. Or the sheep dolly. Scientists will tell you the technique can be extended to humans. Since then a lot of other cloning of mammals have taken place.
    In short, any non-reproductive cell from your body can be taken out and its genetic material implanted into an unfertilized egg cell which can be implanted in a surrogate mother.
    Note that the baby carries no genetic material of the females involved in the process. In other words, it is your offspring and sibling at the same time.

  5. Jay says

    Nora- the original birth certificate still exists and lists both the birth mother and birth father. Original certifictes don’t just go away. It is now under seal in North Caorlina and can be unsealed under certain judicial procedures. We have a copy ourselves of the original certificate, and it isn’t going to be any secret about who the birth parents are. But having the adoptive parents listed on the birth ceritificate now is neccessary for obtianing a passposrt, registering for school, benefits, etc.

  6. simon says

    What all this fuss all about? Just two names on a paper. It may have practical consequences for the child when growing up. They can put a provision there to specify the child can decide to change it or not once he/she is 18. The child still knows who his/her birth parents are.

  7. Randy says

    A birth certificate should not need ANYONE listed on it except the person born, and (maybe) who delivered that person.

    Of course, I also think a driver’s licence should be about driving, and I’m in the minority on that too.

  8. simon says

    The birth certificate is not the same as a driving license which is for an adult. The underage person still needs his/her guardian to make decisions for him/her as jay has pointed out. The best option is to let the person decide once the person turns 18.

  9. Ronni says

    Some commenters are wondering why this wasn’t passed into law a long time ago. Well, one reason is that LGB orgs in California have been taken over by the ideology of LGBT, which places the interests of heterosexual crossdressers and transsexuals above the needs of LGB families. So last year, “our” organizations spent their time and effort passing a law to let biological boys access girls bathrooms in school w/o any doctor’s note or any proof that they are “transgender.” This is what happens when you let gay identity get transjacked via LGBT.

  10. Nora Charles says

    @Simon I think you’re taking this a bit past boots-on-the-ground reality. When human cloning becomes de rigeur, we can discuss the definition of “procreate” and adjust if necessary (although the original cell will still require DNA from both a male and a female so even the standard definition of parentage could and probably would apply).

    @Jay I did not realize that, thank you for the clarification. That makes a lot more sense to me, although I think it should default to available for the person whose cert it is as soon as they become of legal age. Its their document, after all.

  11. Arkansassy says

    They need to find a way to balance the emotional needs of the adoptive parents while at the same time preserving records of biological ancestry.

  12. simon says

    It is what you said. Immutable means it was carved in stone like in the Old Testament. I am telling you sexual reproduction is just an “accident” of human evolution. There are a lot of asexual reproduction in other species. Human can have asexual reproduction if it chooses to. It is not that far-fetched. The technology is there. Whether to put boots on the ground is for the humans to decide. Just like whether US can bomb Syria tomorrow. She is perfectly capable to do so.

  13. simon says

    In other words, immutable means impossible. I am just telling you the facts. It is possible. Of course you don’t do everything that is possible. The boots are all there. You can put them anywhere. It is up to you.

  14. Jack Wang says

    This article isn’t that accurate. Currently, California birth certificates say:

    and not

    California allows same-sex couples to be listed. One as Mother/Parent and one as Father/Parent.

    So, they are not as inaccurate as the article states. The change simply allows one to substitute Mother/Parent or Father/Parent for one of Mother, Father, or Parent.

    It’s a nice change, but not as big a deal as is made here.

  15. simon says

    “although the original cell will still require DNA from both a male and a female”
    Is that your “understanding” of cloning? The baby produced has the same DNA as the person who got his cell taken out and injected into egg cell which already has its DNA removed. There is no crossing between male and female DNA. If you are a female, you can have it done without the intervention of a male or any other human being (you still need a doctor). A female will give rise to an identical twin of herself. Of course you can repeat this process for many generations of female clones. Your original assertion that male and female are both required for procreation is simply wrong and there is simply no way to talk around concrete scientific facts.

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