Wisconsin replaces mother and father on birth certificates with gender-neutral ‘parent’ option

Birth certificates in Wisconsin will offer a ‘parent’ option instead of the traditional mother and father titles.

“This change reflects my and my administration’s commitment to gender-neutral terminology and to recognizing that Wisconsin families are diverse and should be valued and respected,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a news release. “I am glad to see this change being made as we continue to update our state policies and procedures to better reflect the Wisconsinites we serve.”

Other changes to the birth certificates will include adding the term “parent giving birth” instead of Mother. Certificates will also be available in languages other than English for the first time, including Spanish and Hmong. Parents are also able to retroactively update their child’s birth certificate to reflect gender-neutral terms.

“As we celebrate #Pride, @DHSWI and I are excited to announce that, starting Thursday, Wisconsin parents will have a gender-neutral option for parents. This change reflects our continued commitment to recognizing that every family deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” Evers tweeted.

The announcement comes after Evers signed an executive order on June 1 mandating that all state agencies begin to use gender-neutral terms.

“We’re also continuing to support LGBTQ Wisconsinites, so I was proud to sign two executive orders preventing using state and federal funds for conversion therapy in Wisconsin and directing my cabinet agencies to use gender-neutral language in their public-facing documents,” Evers tweeted on June 1, the first day of Pride Month.

“Families have told us that a birth certificate that doesn’t accurately reflect their growing family can take away a piece of the joy when welcoming a new baby,” said Sue Erickson, President, and CEO at UnityPoint Health-Meriter. “We are so pleased that Wisconsin created a more inclusive birth certificate form to reflect the families of our state and community. This change allows all birthing parents to focus solely on their newborn.”