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Wellfleet Couple Face Birth Cert Controversy


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
Ten-month-old Delilah may not be applying for a passport soon, but her parents want her to be able to do so without question.
Delilah’s official birth certificate has the word “father” crossed out and “second parent” handwritten on the form, because her parents are Emily Beebe and Jaqui Wildes Beebe, a married same-sex couple.

For the two women the idea of an altered, non-standard birth certificate following their daughter through life is a stain. And Barnstable Town Clerk Linda Hutchenrider, who registered Delilah’s birth certificate last year, agrees and wants the form changed. “Our association wrote a letter [to Gov. Mitt Romney] asking for the change,” Hutchenrider said last week, referring to a statewide town clerks’ professional group. “His response was that he didn’t think he had the authority from the Legislature. We’ve had circumstances where forms have been changed without legislation. It’s just an excuse on the part of the Romney administration.”

The Massachusetts birth certificate shows the name of the father and mother of the child, along with the mother’s maiden name. Hutchenrider would like to have the forms changed to “co-parents” with an allowance for maiden names in either case.
Last week the Patriot Ledger in Quincy first reported that the governor’s office was advising hospitals to accept altered birth certificates from same-sex couples, and that no new forms or policy were forthcoming.

The governor’s office did not return three calls for comment this week.
Local town clerks said, though, that state vital statistics officials have always discouraged, and even rejected, hand-marked or altered birth certificates and marriages licenses. Wellfleet Town Clerk Dawn Rickman confirmed that last week. “Generally there are no cross-outs, no white-outs, or it’s sent back,” she said.
(All certificates for births occurring at the Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis are created in Barnstable Town Hall, with copies of those documents sent to town clerks in Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet and Eastham for their records.)

“In the mid-1990s, when same-sex couples were allowed to adopt a child, the form was changed to [say] co-parent,” Hutchenrider said. “That document has been around for the last 10 years. Why they can’t change the birth certificate is beyond me. … This is all well and good in Massachusetts, but what happens if that family uproots itself and moves to another state.”

Delilah Beebe is the first, and only, child to be born at Cape Cod Hospital to married gay parents, a hospital spokesperson confirmed last week. Her parents were married last May, shortly after same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts, and her natural mother is Emily Beebe.

I can understand what these 2 ladies were trying to do, but to personally alter a legal document such as a birth certififacte.... what did they expect?
Ok I'm confused.

Now it may be different in the US but over here it is an offense to enter on a childs birth certificate a false name, ie: if you write that Mr Smith is the father when it is in fact Mr Jones (and you KNOW this fact) you can be prosecuted, right? so why should the rules be different for same sex couples?

Don't get me wrong, I have no objection to same sex couples bringing up children but one of these women is NOT a biological parent of the child so why are they allowed to be registered on her birth certificate as being so?