Civil unions facilitate gay parents on birth certificate

Couple wants to educate other gay parents

DENVER - A Colorado gay couple says civil unions made it possible for them both to be listed as their son's mothers on his birth certificate from the beginning.

In the past, the non-birth mother would have had to go through a second-parent adoption to be on the birth certificate.
"They told us we could both be listed as mothers, and we immediately signed it and turned it in," said Wendy Alfredsen. "And then we started crying."

Last year, Wendy and Michelle Alfredsen decided to have a child using a sperm donor, with Michelle carrying the baby.

"We went in this together. We planned this together. We wanted him together," said Michelle Alfredsen.

Now, because of civil unions, they will officially be mothers together -- from the start.

"For a lot of people, a second-parent adoption is not even an option because it's very pricey. It's a lot of time and a lot of resources," said Wendy Alfredsen, breaking into tears. "Knowing that our family is recognized just like the family across from us -- there are no words."

Mark Sallee, a spokesman with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told 7NEWS that gay couples who have a civil union before the baby is born can be listed as co-parents on the birth certificate.
"It offers so much safety for the kids," said Wendy Alfredsen. "It guarantees both parents are going to be in that child's life and that relationship is protected under law."
They want to educate other gay couples about their rights, so that they can feel like equal parents from Day One.
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