Health Department allowing same-sex couples to file birth certif - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Health Department allowing same-sex couples to file birth certificates

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(KATV)-The Arkansas Department of Health reports at least 20 same-sex couples filed for amended birth certificates after getting married on Monday and Tuesday. The health department began allowing same-sex married couples to file for gender neutral birth certificates after the state's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down last week. 

Before last week, the form had a space for "mother" and "father," but now it only reads "parent one" and "parent two."

Most of the amendments have been one parent of a child hoping to add their spouse as the other parent on the certificate of birth.

"As of right now, according to the judge's ruling, they're valid," said Melinda Allen of the Arkansas Health Department. 

They will continue to issue the certificates unless there is a stay issued by the Arkansas Supreme Court. 

In the case of new births, in there is no father, for example an un-named sperm donor or a surrogate mother, both same-sex parents can immediately be listed on the birth certificate. 

"They should be able to do all of that at the hospital, that's how it would be turned into us," said Allen.

If a stay is issued, the court will stop issuing the same-sex birth certificates until there is a final ruling.