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Gay fathers win birth certificate rights

Author John Thompson
Submitted 26-07-2008

Gay men who use a surrogate mother to have children are entitled not to name the woman on the birth certificate, a judge in Connecticut has ruled.

At a hearing at Connecticut Superior Court last month, Judge Lloyd Cutsumpas backed the claim of Peter Griffiths and Angel Naranjo that they are the only parents of their child.

The couple entered into a contract with Kenisha Taylor last year, which saw the surrogate implanted with two embryos – a process which resulted in the birth of one child, reports Gay City Times.

State law requires the birth certificate to be provided as soon as a baby is born and specifies that the birth mother must be named.

However, Mr Griffiths and Mr Naranjo felt that they are both father and mother to the child, and that the fact should be reflected on the legal documentation.

Judge Cutsumpas agreed, explaining: "Names on a birth certificate are not necessarily just an acknowledgment of paternity but can also establish legal responsibilities to a child."

His ruling means that Ms Taylor is no longer legally regarded as one of the child’s parents.

In 1999, Barrie Drewitt and Tony Barlow made history when they became the first same-sex couple in the UK to be recognized as joint-parents on their children’s birth certificates.