Two women can now be named as mothers on birth certificates without a court order in Maryland.
In a letter to birth registrars on Thursday, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene states that beginning no later than March 1, a woman can be named as a parent of a child born to her same-sex spouse. Previously, a same-sex female spouse had to obtain a court order to be named as a parent.
If a woman who delivers a child indicates that she is married, then registrars will enter that spouse’s information into the vital records system, regardless of gender.
The change is a response to Attorney General Doug Gansler’s opinion last year that state agencies should recognize out-of-state gay marriages until the Legislature or courts decide otherwise. Maryland law defines marriage as between a man and woman.