FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Liz Zornes
DECEMBER 17, 2014 (214) 943-6081/(512) 517-7380 (cell)
ANCHIA FILES LEGISLATION THAT WILL PROVIDE ACCURATE BIRTH CERTIFICATES FOR ADOPTED CHILDREN
House Bill 537 would amend the Texas Health and Safety Code to grant adopted children in Texas a birth certificate that correctly lists their parents
State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) has filed a bill that would allow adopted children in Texas to have the names of both parents listed on their supplemental birth certificate, regardless of gender. This will be the fourth consecutive legislative session that Anchia has filed this legislation. HB 537 would amend Section 192.008(a) of the Texas Health and Safety Code, which requires the supplemental birth certificate of an adopted child be in the names of the adoptive parents, one female and the other male.
“Texas families come in all shapes and sizes, including those formed by adoption. An adopted child needs to have a birth certificate that accurately reflects the child’s family,“ said Rep. Anchia. “Texas laws should protect and support the rights of children and families – not hinder them.”
Under the current law, adopted children of same-gender couples are denied accurate birth certificates, which can cause difficulty in obtaining a passport, Social Security cards, or registering for school.
A companion bill to HB 537, SB 250, was also filed today by State Senator Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston).”This bill removes an unreasonable obstacle to some children getting the important legal documentation they need,“ said Senator Garcia. “A birth certificate is vital and should accurately reflect both parents. Neither these children nor their parents should be burdened with an incomplete birth certificate that omits a loving parent.”
As it stands, the requirement compels same-gender parents to carry and present documentation proving their legal parentage for medical care, school enrollment and international travel. Without a birth certificate, the child is left in legal limbo and can never have the same recognition of family status that is afforded other adopted children.