In Texas, the Department of State Health Services has revised its policy to recognize same-sex adoptions.
As of August 12th, LGBT couples can now receive amended birth certificates for their children with both parents names listed. This reversal in policy comes after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was ordered to appear before a judge at a contempt of court hearing. Paxton came under scrutiny after he advised Texas county clerks that they could refuse to issue vital documents (like a birth certificate) if it violated their personal religious beliefs. The contempt hearing has been postponed until September while the state implements the policy changes.
Here is the text of the revised policy issued last week by Texas:
For any adoption ordered on or after June 26, 2015, supplementary birth certificates for children born in Texas will be issued/amended for the adopted child to include same-sex couples whose names are listed on the court order or formal certificate of adoption as the adoptive parents. Documentation must be provided to this effect, along with other standard documentation required for issuance/amendment of a supplementary birth certificate for an adoption.
For adoptions ordered prior to June 26, 2015, amendments to supplementary birth certificates previously issued, will be processed and issued, as requested, to list the names of both persons of the same-sex couple if both are named as parents in the court ordered adoption. Documentation must be provided to this effect, along with other standard documentation required for issuance of an amendment to a supplementary birth certificate for an adoption.
Currently the amended birth certificate will still list parents as “Mother” and “Father”, but the software that is responsible for printing this language is being updated, according to the Texas DSHS.
At Independent Adoption Center, we welcome with excitement these important policy updates. We also acknowledge with gratitude the advocacy groups, citizens, and lawmakers who fought to make this possible: State Representative Rafael Anchia, Lamda Legal and Ken Upton Jr, John Stone-Hoskins, Daniel McNeel Lane Jr, and many others.