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Lesbian Parents Win Right To Have Names On Children’s Birth Certificates In Virginia

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Lesbian Parents living in Virginia, have won a legal fight to have both of their names listed on their twins’ birth certificates.

However, after an 18-month game of wait-and-see as the issue of gay marriage was being settled in Virginia, Richmond Judge Designate T.J. Markow last month ordered the Office of Vital Records in the Virginia Department of Health to amend the birth certificates to show Maria and Joani as the “only parents of the children.”

Maria Hayman delivered the twins in June 2013. Joanie Hayman contributed the eggs after they were fertilized with sperm from a donor who revoked his parental rights.

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Joanie Hayman’s name couldn’t be listed on the twins’ birth certificate. Under the Virginia Code, egg donors don’t have parental rights.

Because of the unique nature of the twins’ birth, the couples attorney, Colleen Quinn saw an opportunity to make a legal case for Joani’s inclusion on the birth certificates and offered to take on their case pro bono.

The Haymans started their legal fight a few months after the twins were born not just to make a statement, they said. Legal recognition of their already-formed family was important to them.

“This is best for our family, so we’re going to try. I thought it would be longer. Even if you’re with your partner and your children and you’re a family, it matters. But it’s on paper when the world recognizes you as a family.”

Maria Hayman

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