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167 U. Pa. L. Rev. 975 (2018-2019)
The Birth Certificate Solution: Ensuring the Interstate Recognition of Same-Sex Parentage

handle is hein.journals/pnlr167 and id is 993 raw text is: COMMENT

In the celebrated decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court held
that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry that cannot be infringed
by state law bans on marriage equality. Post-Obergefell, states around the country
are grappling with what the mandate means for parentage and how their family law
regimes should be adjusted in light of the increasing diversity in today's family
structures. Variation in whether states presume both partners in a same-sex
relationship to be the legal parents of their child and, if not, whether a second-parent
adoption is available to establish the parentage of the nonbiological parent implicates
significant uncertainty for these couples. Entitling the parentage of same-sex couples
as reflected in the birth certificate of the child to interstate recognition on the basis
that the birth certificate is a record within the ambit of the Full Faith and Credit
Clause would provide greater protection of their legal status. The birth certificate
solution is both easily implementable and doctrinally supportable in light of various
principles reflected in the Supreme Court's recent family law jurisprudence. The
interests at stake are significant for both the same-sex couple and their child, and
entitling the parentage listed in the birth certificate to full faith and credit recognition
would provide greater immediate protection to the legal status of these couples.


t Executive Editor, Volume 167, University of Pennsylvania Law Review; J.D., 2019, University
of Pennsylvania Law School; B.A., 2016, Lehigh University.

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