Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, January 26, 2020

7th Circuit Decides Same-Sex Parents Case

From Slate:

Indiana must list same-sex parents on their child’s birth certificate, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday in a 10-page opinion that took 32 months to issue.

The case, Henderson v. Box, is easy to resolve under Supreme Court precedent. In his decision for a unanimous panel, Judge Frank Easterbrook explained that Indiana’s parentage scheme unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples. When an opposite-sex couple has a child, the law grants a “presumption of parenthood” to the father and lists him on the birth certificate. But when a same-sex couple has a child, the law denies that presumption and forces the second parent to undergo the arduous, expensive process of adopting their own child. Thus, when a woman married to a man uses a sperm donor, her husband is deemed the child’s father. When a woman married to a woman uses a sperm donor, by contrast, her wife is denied legal parenthood. Moreover, a child born to married opposite-sex couples are deemed to be born “in wedlock,” while children born to same-sex couples are considered to be born “out of wedlock.”

Read more here.

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