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Utah Offers Settlement to Lesbian Couple in Birth Certificate Case

Utah Offers Settlement to Lesbian Couple in Birth Certificate Case

Utah Offers Settlement to Lesbian Couple in Birth Certificate Case

The state had refused to issue a birth certificate listing both women as parents, saying the one who did not carry the child had to go through the process of adoption.

The state of Utah has agreed to pay up to settle a lawsuit brought by a married lesbian couple who were denied a birth certificate listing them both as their child’s parents.

The state has offered to pay Angie and Kami Roe more than $24,000 to cover their legal fees, the Associated Press reports. A federal judge ruled in July that the state could not treat same-sex couples who use assisted reproduction technologies differently from heterosexual couples who do, the first ruling on such matters since the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision in June.

But that’s just what the state was trying to do. After Kami, who became pregnant by using donor sperm, gave birth to a daughter in February, the state would not issue a birth certificate with both women’s names listed as parents. State officials said Angie would have to adopt the child, a process that both the couple and the judge noted would be costly, invasive, and time-consuming.

Utah “recognizes male spouses in Angie’s identical situation as parents pursuant to Utah’s assisted-reproduction statutes and issues a birth certificate with both spouses listed as parents without requiring that the male spouses undergo a stepparent adoption process,” reads U.S. District Judge Dee Benson’s July ruling, in which she orders the state to cease treating same-sex couples differently from opposite-sex ones. Benson did not rule on the merits of the Roes’ case but did say the women were likely to succeed in their suit.

The state made its settlement offer in court documents filed Friday, the AP reports. No word yet on whether the Roes will accept the settlement.

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Trudy Ring