“Father” and “mother” will be replaced by the word “parent” on a same-sex couple’s child’s birth certificate

Pavel Jaňurek, Novinky

The Czech Republic will issue new birth certificate forms for same-sex parents starting in January. Instead of “mother” and “father,” the word “parent” will appear in the relevant boxes. The Ministry of the Interior has sent for comments an amendment to the Decree of the Act on Civil Registry, which brings this change. Because it is a decree, the amendment does not need to be approved by Parliament, but only signed by the Minister of the Interior.

The amendment follows a Brno regional court decision in the case of two same-sex parents who requested to be listed both as father on their daughter’s birth certificates, which was not technically possible. However, the court agreed with them and proposed to establish a new mode of birth certificate form for this purpose, which would contain two identical “parent” sections.

Current birth certificates, like other civil registration forms, do not distinguish same-sex parents from others. According to the explanatory memorandum to the amendment, this situation poses problems for the persons concerned. “Currently, following the new methodology, both parents will be in the sections corresponding to their sex, i.e. two men in the father’s section and two women in the mother’s section,” the explanatory memorandum states. “The sections of the Birth Certificate and the Birth Register are not adapted for such an entry,” the ministry argues.

The new decree may also address the problem of Czech children of same-sex parents born abroad and also children where one of the parents has undergone a gender reassignment process. “Until now, these cases have been resolved by issuing a new birth certificate with the original data of the parents, but with a note in the registry document stating that, for example, the child’s father changed his gender on a certain date, as well as his current identity,” the ministry said. The change of gender is said to be a sensitive piece of information that the parents may not be interested in disclosing.

“From my perspective, a version of the birth certificate that reflects that there are same-sex parents is needed. We have such parents, “lawyer Adéla Horáková of the organization We Are Fair, which fights for legislative equality for the LGBT minority, said . Politicians’ opinions on the issue vary, even within the future governing coalition of Together and PirStan.”This is an obvious correction of a form that was not appropriately worded. It is good that the state does not forget to correct things that do not correspond to the facts, “Pirate MP Ondřej Profant, whose mandate is ending, commented.

On the other hand, more conservative lawmakers do not like the Interior Ministry’s initiative. “I personally consider it a tragic mistake. We have the categories of father and mother and to jump on this new birth certificate form is a mistake. I assume that our government will already deal with this, so we will have to look into it after it is established, “Marek Benda, an ODS MP and candidate for justice minister, wrote. “If it should only be special forms to request them from same-sex parents, I am not against it. But if it were to be changed to all forms in general, that would mean that a vast percentage of people want to dictate to the vast majority, “Patrik Nacher, a lawmaker for ANO, said.

Although same-sex couples cannot adopt children in the Czech Republic, experts say there are thousands of children being raised by two fathers or mothers. The terms “parent 1” and “parent 2” instead of father and mother were introduced by France in 2019 in the Education Act. Because of same-sex parents, school forms were changed in this way. Similar expressions are also used in some forms in Italy.