Iowa Dept. of Health Argues for Biology to Play Role in Court Case Over Lesbian Paternity


The Des Moines Register:

A judge will hear oral arguments today in the case of two mothers who sued the state to list both names on their child’s birth certificate.

Heather Lynn Martin Gartner, 39, and Melissa McCoy Gartner, 41, of Des Moines have said the state’s decision to list only Heather as a parent deprives their daughter, Mackenzie, of the protections and benefits of two legal parents being present from birth.

Attorneys for the couple have cited an Iowa Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in 2009. The unanimous ruling cited constitutional rights to basic fairness and equal protection.

The Iowa Department of Public Health said in a letter to the Gartners’ attorneys last year that state laws “expressly recognize the biological reality that women and men each play a distinct but equally necessary role in human reproduction and have corresponding rights, duties and obligations to their child.”

... Of states that recognize civil unions, only Iowa prohibits two women from being listed as parents on a child’s birth certificate. The exception is if a child is adopted.