Iowa Erases Second Mother’s Name From Stillborn Baby’s Death Certificate

Lambda Legal has filed suit on behalf of a married lesbian couple in Iowa who received an inaccurate death certificate after their son died in utero this past October. The fetal death certificate form only included boxes marked “mother” and “father,” and when Jessica Aiken and Jenny Buntemeyer received the official certificate, Buntemeyer’s name and information had been erased, leaving only Aiken’s name as the mother. Buntemeyer explains the impact of this insult:

BUNTEMEYER: After the loss of our son, Jenny and I were just trying to process our grief and get through it together. To erase Jenny’s name from the death certificate was like trying to erase all the love, commitment and work we had both put into planning a family. We were in complete shock.

Last month, an Iowa judge ruled that a married same-sex couple deserves to have both names on a child’s birth certificate. Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration has appealed that decision, seeking clarification for the different ways a same-sex couple might conceive a child.