On May 31, 2016, the Department of Health issued guidance to hospitals throughout the state that, for pregnant same-sex female couples in Pennsylvania who are married at the time of their child’s birth, the hospital should list both spouses as parents on the child’s birth certificate.
Will a birth certificate be enough to protect your parental rights as a same-sex couple?
Under Pennsylvania law the spouse of a married woman who carries and gives birth to a child is legally presumed to be the other parent of that child, regardless of whether or not both spouses are biologically related to the child. This presumption should apply to Pennsylvania’s same-sex married couples and their children.
However, the law in Pennsylvania is not settled. Couples who conceive using donorsshould still do a Pennsylvania adoption to guarantee the recognition of their parental rights to their child- even if you are married, and even if you are both on the birth certificate. Pennsylvania’s marital presumption of parentage is a legal assumption that could be challenged if you are not biologically related to your child.
With a Pennsylvania adoption decree your parental rights will be recognized.
Whether you are a same-sex or different sex couple, to learn more about the Pennsylvania adoption process contact our experienced team of family lawyers to schedule a consultation. With offices in Cranberry, Pittsburgh, and Canonsburg we are proud to assist families throughout western Pennsylvania.