5.16.2017

Birth Certificate Based on Biology?

A recent ruling in Arkansas considered the birth certificate dilemma for a child whose mother was married to another woman. 

One could argue that the child has a vested interest in this outcome, considering the child’s right to self-identity, the court’s need to protect the best interests of the child, and the biological fact that every child has a biological mother and a father. But the court ruled that Arkansas has a vested interest in listing biological parents on birth certificates. 

"What is before this court is a narrow issue of whether the birth-certificate statutes as written deny the appellees due process," Justice Josephine Linker Hart wrote in the court's majority opinion. "...In the situation involving the female spouse of a biological mother, the female spouse does not have the same biological nexus to the child that the biological mother or the biological father has. It does not violate equal protection to acknowledge basic biological truths."

Read the text of the full opinion here, and further analysis at the Mirror of Justice hereA state has an interest in knowing who a child’s parents are, and a child has a liberty interest in that information as well.

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