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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Anthony Brown

Anthony Brown

Attorney and Advocate at Time For Families
Who am I? On the deepest level, I am blessed. I have an amazing partner, who I have known since 1989 and been married to since 2004. I am the donor dad of two beautiful daughters who have two moms who are equally amazing. My husband and I have expanded our family through surrogacy and have a seven-year old son. I have had three careers (acting, massage therapy and the law) and I am still discovering myself. I am the Board Chair of Men Having Babies. The one thing I know for sure is that life is about trusting your instincts. Family is an instinct.
Anthony Brown