Three Parent Birth Certificates: What Are They?

22 Aug, 2015

Three Parent Birth Certificates: What are they?

Three parent birth certificates are not a common occurrence and they are not often needed. But with the changing world meaning that families are different to how they used to be, some countries are discussing or even issuing, three parent birth certificates.

Argentina birth certificate lists three parents

In a recent case in Argentina that made headlines, a same-sex female couple along with the biological father of their child were jointly listed on their child's birth certificate. Mothers Susana Guichal and Valeria Gaete added father Hernan Melazzi to the birth certificate to ensure he was in their child's life.

As the lesbian couple felt it was important that their child know where they came from, they opted to include their child's father on the certificate rather than only imparting the knowledge when the child was old enough to understand.

This change in birth certificates means that for these parents in Argentina, all three of them retain their rights as parents because they are all listed. In countries such as the UK, if a parent isn't listed on a child's birth certificate they are not automatically given rights over their child, such as deciding which school they go to.

Canada allows up to four parent birth certificates

Similarly in Vancouver, Canada, in 2014 another same-sex lesbian couple wanted their friend and sperm donor to be listed as their parent's child. Della Wolf Kangro Wiley Richards is the first child to have a three person birth certificate.

The new British Columbian law, which passed in 2013, allows up to four parents to be listed on a child's birth certificate. Initially Danielle Wiley, the birth mother, and her partner Anna Richard's had to request a new form for their child's birth certificate. This was because along with the space for the mother's details was only one box - to be filled in by either the father or a second parent if a father was not known.

Thankfully, they were able to get their three person birth certificate and drew up an agreement so that they would all have rights and roles in their child's life.

UK birth certificates list two parents, not just mother and father

UK birth certificates have also made some changes in recent years, though they haven't started adding multiple parents yet. Instead, they have made a switch from listing Mother and Father for Parent 1 and Parent 2. This makes it easier for same-sex couples to be able to list both of their names on a birth certificate rather than just the birth or biological parent.