University of Denver

Iowa Court Rules that Same-Sex Parents' Names Both Be on Child's Birth Certificate

IAALS Intern

Following its 2009 decision in Varnum v. Brien overturning the state ban on same-sex marriage, the Iowa Supreme Court recently held that the state must allow same-sex couples to have both their names listed on the birth certificate of their newborn child. Justice David Wiggins, one of the justices who took part in the Varnum decision and who survived a 2012 ouster campaign driven by that decision, reasoned that same-sex couples “enjoy the same benefits and burdens of parenthood” as heterosexual parents and, therefore, are entitled to the fundamental right of parenthood at the moment of birth. According to Justice Wiggins, any decision otherwise would have been the product of mere prejudice.

Katherine Kirk is a third year law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and contributes to IAALS Online. Please direct inquiries about this post to