Alaska issues first birth certificates to same-sex parents
KTVA.com, July 7, 2015 by Shannon Ballard
ANCHORAGE– Like most people who haven’t lived in Alaska long, Amanda and Pam Bowers learned quickly to get outdoors.
On Tuesday they went for a walk around Kincaid Park. Amanda carried their 8-week-old daughter Ellie Lou Bowers strapped to her chest.
“She was born in Alaska so we have to get her out there to see as much as she can,” Amanda said.
The couple has been legally married since 2008. Amanda gave birth to Ellie but both of the new moms say motherhood feels so natural, which is the reason the Bowers want each of their names on Ellie’s birth certificate.
“Even though I didn’t carry her, she’s my baby, she’s my daughter,” Pam said.
However, Alaska statutes didn’t give that option. If a mother is married when she gives birth, the father’s name would appear on the birth certificate, according to Alaska’s laws. That didn’t apply to the Bowers’ case, as well as several other same-sex couples.
“What would happen is we’d have to go through second parent adoption procedures, which involve getting a lawyer and thousands of dollars,” Pam explained.
But now all that has changed. Acting State Register Andrew Jessen says the statute has been reworded: the word “father” has been replaced with “spouse.”
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