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Gartner v. Iowa Department of Health

Location: Iowa
Last Update: May 21, 2012

This Iowa Supreme Court case is a challenge to the state of Iowa’s refusal to list the wives of biological mothers as parent on the birth certificates of children born to married lesbian couples. In an amicus brief submitted with the Iowa affiliate, the ACLU argued that this practice infringes upon the rights of parents and children to equal protection and due process. The brief also provided information about birth certificate rules in the numerous other U.S. jurisdictions that do automatically recognize mothers’ wives as parents.

Status: Victory! In a unanimous decision in May 2013, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the Iowa Department of Public Health must list the nonbirthing mother as the second parent on the birth certificate of the child of a lesbian couple.

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