Iowa Supreme Court OK's same-sex parental rights - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Iowa Supreme Court OK's same-sex parental rights

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

Married lesbians in Iowa can now have both of their names listed on their newborn child's birth certificate after an Iowa Supreme Court ruling.

For expectant parents, Al and Cassie Hales of Waverly, Friday's ruling couldn't have come at a better time.

The Hales have been married since 2010, and they're expecting their first baby in August.

The two used a friend as a sperm donor, and Al was planning on having to adopt their son six months after he was born.

"My heart was really devastated when I found out that I really couldn't be on the birth certificate," said Al. "And now today finding out that I can, I feel like it's a step in the right direction, and I feel like I have an equal right as to any other parent in the world. If my name wasn't on there I'd feel like I wasn't really connected when he was born."

For Cassie, who is carrying their son, Friday's ruling offered a sense of relief.

"We're going to have kids no matter what, so it doesn't really matter. I mean, if we had to go to court and Al had to adopt, we were going to do that anyways. So this really doesn't change our future, it just makes it easier I guess," said Cassie.

The Hales said the issue isn't about same-sex marriage since it's already legal in Iowa.

Rather, they believe it's a parental rights issue.

"If we were in another state, I mean I really would have to fight for my rights to be the second parent," said Al. "It really just doesn't seem fair. I mean, I'm going to be there right with Cassie. We're married. I'm his second parent, and it just seems like the right thing."

Friday's ruling came after a lesbian couple, Melissa and Heather Gartner, petitioned to have both their names listed on their daughter's birth certificate.

The Gartners filed a lawsuit after the state refused to list their names on their daughter's birth certificate in 2009.

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