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Ask the Lawyer: Why is Correcting the Birth Certificate Important – Part 2

In some Pennsylvania counties, Pre-Birth Orders have been issued before the birth of a child in order for the Intended Parents to be named on the birth certificate. This is done for same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples whose child is born of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) by a Gestational Carrier. It confirms the Gestational Carrier is not a genetic parent prior to the birth of the child.

Although most of the orders issued through the Department of Health procedures have involved children who are the genetic offspring of both Intended Parents, Courts are also issuing such orders where donor eggs (from neither the Intended Mother, nor the carrier) were used for conception. Therefore, it is possible for an Intended Mother, who is not the genetic mother of the child, to be deemed the legal parent.

These pre-birth orders have also been permitted identifying both same-sex Intended Parents as
the child’s legal parents or the party who is a genetic parent as the child’s sole legal parent.

Who may obtain Pre-Birth Orders:

  • Married couples using their own eggs and sperm;
  • Married couples using a donor;
  • Unmarried couple using their own egg and sperm;
  • Unmarried couple using a donor;
  • Single parent; and
  • Same-sex couples.

Since this procedure is not prescribed by any statute or enacted regulation, these Orders are issued on a county-to-county basis at the discretion of the Court.

Dorota Gasienica-Kozak, Esquire
Chair of the KingSpry Adoption/ART Law Practice Group