Wisconsin Parents Now Have Gender-Neutral Option For Child’s Birth Certificate
07.19.21 | The Boardman Clark I.D.E.A. Group
Wisconsin parents now have the choice to identify themselves with a gender-neutral option on their children’s birth certificates. This new change was announced by Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on July 1, 2021. In addition to the current “mother and father” choices on birth certificates, parents can identify themselves as “parent and parent” or “parent giving birth.” The forms will also be available in Spanish and Hmong.
Governor Evers announced this new option for Wisconsin parents as part of his commitment to gender-neutral terminology and recognition of the diversity in Wisconsin families. The new gender-neutral language is also consistent with other public-facing forms, including options that allow spouses to list themselves as “spouse and spouse” as opposed to “husband and wife.”
Previously, couples were encouraged to simply list the birth-giving parent as “mother” and the other parent as “father,” regardless of that parent’s gender or sex. Parents with previous identifiers such as these who wish to change them to reflect gender-neutral terms can do so by contacting the state Vital Records Office and requesting the change.
This shift comes amid new policies across the country to make gender identification on public forms more diverse with gender neutral options. For example, a recent New York bill will also allow individuals to opt for an “x” as an alternative to “male and female” on drivers’ licenses and other documents. The Biden administration recently adopted the language of “birth-giving parent” as opposed to “mother.” And on the same day as Governor Evers’ announcement, the State Department announced that passports will soon have a third, non-binary and gender-neutral option, in addition to the options of “male” and “female.”