Photo by Liv Bruce on Unsplash
Gov. Tony Evers announced on Monday that beginning in July, Wisconsin birth certificate forms will offer a gender-neutral option for identifying the parents of the newborn.
Current forms say “mother-father” and the updated forms will also include a “parent-parent” option. In a release, Evers indicated that the update is a part of his administration’s commitment to gender-neutral terminology. The Department of Health Services change on the birth certificate follows an executive order signed by Evers on June 1 directing state agencies to use gender-neutral language in external communications.
“This change reflects my and my administration’s commitment to gender-neutral terminology and to recognizing that Wisconsin families are diverse and should be valued and respected,” said Evers. “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 was also the first governor to fly the rainbow flag over the Capitol during Pride Month to honor LGBTQ Wisconsinites. DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake says updating the birth certificate forms in just one step “on the long road to adopting gender-neutral language.”
Other steps being taken immediately are including “parent giving birth” and making the forms available in English, Spanish and Hmong. And anyone who would like past forms to be updated to say parent-parent can request that their child’s existing birth certificate be altered to parent-parent by contacting the Vital Records Office.
UnityPoint Health-Meriter President and CEO Sue Erickson approved of the change: “We are so pleased that Wisconsin created a more inclusive birth certificate form to reflect the families of our state and community. This change allows all birthing parents to focus solely on their newborn.”
GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.