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Same-sex couples wait for laws and forms to change

Ann Thompson
Nicole Yorksmith and wife Pamela are waiting for their official birth certificates for both of their children.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, states are now in the process of studying statutes related to gender specific language that the high court did not specifically order be changed.

One of the gray areas, according to family law attorney Ellen Essig is sperm donation. She says in Ohio, "Our statute on sperm donation speaks to husband and wife and who is a parent when a woman becomes pregnant using donated sperm."

Essig, co-counsel in the Obergefell v Hodges case, says there is no statute on egg donation. She suspects that state courts will comply with the spirit of the Supreme Court decision on this and other matters until state statutes are changed.

Birth Certificates

Right now there are only two ways to get same-sex couples listed on birth certificates. According to the Ohio Department of Health's Melanie Amato, "You can come down to the state vital statistics office in Columbus where you will be given a form to be added onto the birth certificate. If same-sex couples are giving birth, the hospital will offer a supplemental form."

Death certificates are also available at the Columbus office and at funeral homes.

Essig says she is seeing an appropriate level of cooperation from the Ohio Department of Health.