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British Lesbian Couple Are First to Jointly Sign Birth Certificate

British Lesbian Couple Are First to Jointly Sign Birth Certificate

Natalie Woods, 38, and Elizabeth Knowles, 47, became the first two same-sex parents in Britain to jointly sign a birth certificate. Natalie gave birth to their daughter Lily-May Betty Woods earlier this month and her partner, Elizabeth is named on the certificate instead of the biological father, who was a sperm donor.

Natalie Woods, 38, and Elizabeth Knowles, 47, became the first two same-sex parents in Britain to jointly sign a birth certificate.

Natalie gave birth to their daughter Lily-May Betty Woods earlier this month and her partner, Elizabeth is named on the certificate instead of the biological father, who was a sperm donor.

Woods is described as the “mother” on the certificate, while Knowles is described as “parent.”

According to The Daily Mail in the UK, the 2008 Human Fertilization and Embryology Act paved the way for birth certificates for the first time in British history to record two mothers.  The law also means a child could have two fathers listed on a certificate -- and not the biological mother.

The happy parents said, “It’s fantastic, compared to having to go through the courts this is really straight forward and the way it should be. It’s a milestone, as the fact that same sex parents can both be on the birth certificate show that our kind of family is becoming more acceptable.”

As expected, the move has sparked outrage from opponents.  Josephine Quintavalle from Comment On Reproductive Ethics, told the Daily Telegraph, “Birth certificates should reflect how a baby is generated.  As much as you try to play around with the terminology, the biology reflects what has happened and one day the child will ask about their father.”

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Leslie Dobbins