Same sex partners to be named on birth certificates from tomorrow

August 31, 2009

Natalie Gamble was interviewed on the BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast Show this morning about the new rights for same sex partners to be named on the birth certificates of children they conceive together.

For lesbian couples, new rules allow the non birth mother to be named as the child’s other parent if the couple conceive through donor insemination or IVF together. Although the law change came into force on 6 April 2009, it only applies to children conceived after that date. The government has calculated that, allowing for some early arrivals, this means the soonest a child could be born under the new rules is 1 September 2009. From tomorrow, therefore, registrars around the UK will be prepped and ready to register births showing two women as a child’s parents.

On the Radio 5 Breakfast Show, Natalie was also asked whether gay men could also be named on birth certificates together. As Natalie explained, gay men conceiving with a surrogate mother will be able to obtain a birth certificate showing them both as parents, but that the changes for gay couples are coming into effect later. Gay men, like heterosexual couples, will have to apply to court for a reissue of the birth certificate after a surrogacy birth. They will be able to make such applications from 6 April 2010 although, unlike the new rules for lesbian couples, applications can be made for children born before the law changed.

We welcome the changes to both the donor conception and surrogacy rules to cover gay and lesbian parents. The move represents an important step forward in recognising gay and lesbian families, and ensuring that two parents who commit to having a child together are both legally recognised as being responsible for that child.

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