Bill Number: HB 537
Bill Description: Relating to the information on the supplementary birth certificate of an adopted child
Author: Anchia (D-Dallas)
Stance: Support
Related Bills: SB 250
Committee: N/A

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Analysis: This law removes the restriction on same-sex couples from adopting children together. Current Texas Family Law currently makes the following requirements for the listing of parents on a supplementary birth certificate: "one of whom must be a female, named as the mother, and the other of whom must be a male, named as the father.” This bill updates the law to simply allow two parents to be listed on a supplemental birth certificate, without regard to the sex or gender identification of the parents.

Position: Restricting the names on a birth certificate to a male and a female is an obvious attack on the civil rights of gay and lesbian parents by those who hold religious convictions against homosexuality. While Secular Texas respects the right of all individuals to hold personal religious beliefs and to act according to their conscience, it is the intent of the Texas Constitution and the United States Constitution to guarantee equal treatment under the law for all citizens. It is not the place of the State of Texas to enforce the personal religious convictions of any of its citizens through law, and in doing so the State has failed in its role of guaranteeing equal rights for all.

Furthermore, many studies over the last 12 years have shown that children with gay or lesbian parents “fare equally well” as children of heterosexual parents, with the positive exception that these children enjoy healthier relationships with their parents than children of heterosexual parents (A Meta-Analysis of Developmental Outcomes for Children of Same-Sex and Heterosexual Parents, Journal of GLBT Family Studies, Volume 4, Issue 3, 2008). These finding should dismiss any fears or concerns some may hold about the quality of parenting provided outside of a heterosexual parenting model as a reason for State involvement in this issue.

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