Thousands of babies have been born to families with the help of sperm donors. This medical practice has given great joy to countless people, yet it still leaves questions for many others. What does the hospital put on the baby's birth certificate? What record will be permanently listed for the birth of a baby that has been born with special help from the medical world and a sperm donor?
A birth certificate is a permanent record of a live birth. It is needed when a baby's parents apply for the child's Social Security card and passport, and later when the teen applies for a driver's permit. The birth certificate is recorded in the town where the mother is in residence at the time. As with any birth certificate, the mother can contact the municipal clerk to get certified copies for a fee. A child will be able to get certified copies after she has reached her 18th birthday. The birth certificate record is kept in a book in the municipal vault. It can only be accessed by the town or municipal clerk and deputy clerk. It is also recorded in the birth state vital statistics archive.
A child that has been brought into the world by artificial insemination is a live birth with a birth certificate signed by the attending doctor or midwife. The mother is listed on the birth certificate along with the date, newborn's full name and time of birth. If the mother is not married she can choose to have the name of the father listed as unknown or the area can be left blank. If the mother is part of a couple her husband will be listed as the birth father.
The fact that a donor has gone to a clinic to donate his sperm does not make him the legal father of any child that is born from the artificial insemination. Any adult that is taking part as a donor or recipient must think the situation through and be aware of the facts. The donor is providing the biological material that will aid in the insemination process. He should be aware that he enters into an agreement to make this donation and that ends his part in the process. He is not legally the father of any child that may be born as a result of his donated sperm. The sperm donor will never have any right to access the birth certificate of any child that is born due to his donation at a facility.
The fact that a sperm donor is never mentioned on a birth certificate gives the right for the birth mother's husband to be listed as birth father. The man who will be there for the mother, his wife and their baby is the man who is listed as the true father on the permanent birth record. The birth certificate will be exactly the same as any newborn and the fact of a sperm donor involvement is only known in the confidential records of a donor facility.
A birth certificate is the record of a new life. The birth parents are thankful for a sperm donor and the process. He has given an essential component for the child to be conceived. The parents listed on the certificate are shown for all time to be the child's mother and father. This is the record that is kept permanently as proof of who they are. It will be their choice whether to tell the child one day that a little extra help was needed.
Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for various websites. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.