Wisconsin birth certificates add ‘parent-parent’ fields on top of ‘mother-father’

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 11:53 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Starting next month, Wisconsin birth certificates will include a new option in which parents will no longer have to distinguish themselves as mothers and fathers when completing the forms.

The new birth certificates will include a “parent-parent field,” in addition to “mother-father,” Gov. Tony Evers’ Office explained. The move comes as part of the Administration’s effort to include more gender-neutral language on state forms.

“I am glad to see this change being made as we continue to update our state policies and procedures to better reflect the Wisconsinites we serve,” Evers said, adding that the move recognizes Wisconsin families “are diverse and should be valued and respected.”

The new certificates will start being issued on July 1, exactly a month after Evers signed an executive order mandating state agencies to adopt more gender-neutral language in external communications.

“Updating our birth certificate forms is one important step on the long road to adopting gender-neutral language in all of our external documents,” Dept. of Health Services Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said.

Families whose birth certificates were issued prior to that date who would still like to use the new option can submit a request to the Vital Records Office by email or by calling 608-266-1373, starting Thursday after the new forms go into effect.

To distinguish between the parents, the certificates will list “parent giving birth” if the new option is chosen.

Additionally, the certificates will be available in Spanish and Hmong, in addition to English.

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