Wisconsin parents will have the ability to choose a gender-neutral identification option for themselves on their child’s birth certificates starting Thursday.
Gov. Tony Evers, who announced the new option on Monday along with the state Department of Health Services, said updated birth certificate forms will include a “parent-parent” option in addition to the current “mother-father” option for identifying parents.
New birth forms will also include a “parent giving birth” option, and the availability of forms in English, Spanish and Hmong.
“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,” Evers said in a statement. “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.”
The announcement follows an executive order signed by Evers on June 1 that directed state agencies to use gender-neutral language in external communications.
“Families have told us that a birth certificate that doesn’t accurately reflect their growing family can take away a piece of the joy when welcoming a new baby,” Sue Erickson, president and CEO at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, said in a statement.
“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.”
Updated information about the State Vital Records Office can be found on the office’s website.
The announcement follows an executive order directing state agencies to use gender-neutral language in external communications.