By Mirah Riben The Supreme Court case of Adopted Child Doe brings to a head the absurdity of amended “birth” certificates issued to adoptees.
The 20-month-old known as Adopted Child Doe is Cooper Talmas-Vitale. Cooper was adopted by Joseph Vitale and Rob Talmas shortly after his birth in Ohio. The adoption is recognized in New York, where the two men are married and live with the toddler.
But Ohio, the place of Cooper’s birth and where his birth certificate was issued, has told adoptive parents Vitale and Talmas that they have to choose which man gets to be the legally listed father on Cooper’s new certificate of birth. Cooper’s case has been consolidated into four cases from Ohio and one case each from Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky. All are awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on whether same-sex marriage is an unalienable constitutional right.
The case of Adopted Child Doe, however, goes beyond issues of marriage or the right to marry. It is about a child’s birthright, his dignity and his 14th Amendment rights.
“Children, as they figure out who they are in the world, care about things like dignity,” said Amy Davidson, writing read more…