Kansas to issue birth certificates to 2 same-sex couples

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two same-sex couples will be listed as parents on their children’s birth certificates, but the state of Kansas will continue to decide on similar requests on a case-by-case basis, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment says.

Department spokeswoman Sara Belfry said the department decided to issue the two birth certificates after reviewing applicable law and existing court orders, but the general policy has not changed, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.

“We are still reviewing these applications on a case-by-case basis,” she said.

The lesbian couples argued in Douglas County and federal court that the state was violating a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that required states to recognize same-sex marriages by refusing to issue birth certificates listing the women as parents of children conceived through artificial insemination.

“It’s unfortunate that they had to go to this extent, but we are happy that the state of Kansas has decided to comply,” said David Brown, who represented one of the couples. “I just hope they change policy so everyone doesn’t have to sue the state.”

He added that since the case was first reported, six other same-sex couples have contacted his office saying they denied the birth certificates listing both of them as parents.

The women all cited a 1968 Kansas law that says married couples who conceive through artificial insemination “shall be considered at law in all respects the same as a naturally conceived child of the husband and wife so requesting and consenting to the use of such technique.”

But in both cases, the KDHE said the non-biological mother would have to adopt the child through a process similar to a stepchild adoption.

Attorney Doug Bonney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the complaint on behalf of the couples, said the issue is not resolved.

“I assumed we would see something like this,” he said. “The question as always is whether they have changed their procedures and policies.”

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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