Legally-adopted children cannot currently obtain an accurate certificate if they have 2 moms or 2 dads
Austin, Texas (November, 15, 2012) – State Representative Rafael Anchia of Dallas today filed legislation [HB 201] to amend the Texas Health and Safety Code in order to provide accurate Supplemental Birth Certificates for all adopted children in Texas.
When a child is legally adopted in Texas, a Supplemental Birth Certificate is issued to reflect the legal parentage and custody of the adopted child. However, the Health and Safety Code currently states that the child’s birth certificate may only list one female and one male parent. As a result, thousands of Texas children with two legally-adoptive parents of the same gender are denied a birth certificate that accurately reflects their legal parentage.
Without an accurate birth certificate, an adopted child is denied recognition of their legal parents, faces difficulty obtaining a passport, getting a social security card, or registering for school. The legally-adoptive parent who is excluded from the Supplemental Birth Certificate is denied recognition of their legal parentage, has the parent’s assistance with school registrations obstructed, is prevented from serving as a guardian to their minor child when traveling abroad, or is restricted in their ability to ensure their child has access to government programs or benefits.
“Every child deserves their own family, and every adopted child deserves to have their legal parentage reflected on their Supplemental Birth Certificate,” said Rep. Rafael Anchia (D – Dallas). “Instead of protecting the rights of children, the current language of the Health and Safety Code leaves these children in legal limbo and inappropriately questions the legitimacy of their parentage,” Anchia stated.
“It is time for the State of Texas to honor the health and well-being of all Texas children, including legally-adopted children with two moms or two dads,” said Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith. “It is in the best interests of the children and in the best interests of our state that we work to build strong Texas families, and that literally means ALL Texas families,” Smith concluded.