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Gov. Evers, DHS Announce Gender-Neutral Language Options




The press release below was released today. What first came to mind upon reading the missive was, Really?

Given all that has transpired over the past year and a half, this issue was a priority for the Governor and the state?

This change reflects the Administration's commitment to gender-neutral terminology and recognizing that families are diverse and should all be recognized and valued in state systems.


So the Evers administration has a commitment to gender-neutral terminology. Thanks for sharing, and the reason for this is? The sentence goes on and I'm left wondering. Did the Evers administration not realize prior to this that families in Wisconsin are diverse? And the sentence goes on to apparently state that the Evers administration had not in the past, recognized Wisconsin families and their value in the state systems, nor respected them.

Other changes to the birth forms include using "parent giving birth," and making the forms available in English, Spanish, and Hmong starting July 1.

Forms are available in English, Spanish and Hmong? Hmong is 0.81253448275862% of the population here in Wisconsin. Wisconsin's American Indian population totaled 53,358 in 2008, which was 0.9% of the state total of 5,672,297 So why is the Evers administration slighting the Native American population here in the state in this administration commitment?


Overall it certainly seems that there are much better things to do here in Wisconsin than adjusting State of Wisconsin Birth Certificates.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2021

Contact: dhsmedia@dhs.wisconsin.gov

Gov. Evers, DHS Announce Gender-Neutral Language Options for Parents to be Added to Wisconsin Birth Certificates

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced that beginning Thurs., July 1, 2021, Wisconsin parents will have a new, gender-neutral option for identifying the parents of a child. Birth forms used to generate birth certificates will be updated to include an option for "parent-parent," in addition to "mother-father." This change reflects the Administration's commitment to gender-neutral terminology and recognizing that families are diverse and should all be recognized and valued in state systems.


“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,” said Gov. Evers. “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.”


On Tues., June 1, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #121 directing state agencies to use gender-neutral language in their external communications.


“We are working hard to make Wisconsin a more inclusive, equitable, and just state and this update ensures our LGBTQ Wisconsinites are seen and heard when welcoming a child into the world,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “Updating our birth certificate forms is one important step on the long road to adopting gender-neutral language in all of our external documents.”


Other changes to the birth forms include using "parent giving birth," and making the forms available in English, Spanish, and Hmong starting July 1. These changes are consistent with other public-facing forms within Vital Records that use spouse-spouse and other gender-neutral language. After July 1, 2021, individuals who would like to request that the label on their or their child's existing birth certificate be switched to parent-parent can contact the Vital Records Office by email or by calling, 608-266-1373.


“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.”


For up-to-date information about the State Vital Records Office, visit the DHS Vital Records Services page. We encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or @dhs.wi on Instagram for more information.

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Office of the Governor • 115 East Capitol, Madison, WI 53702Press Office Email: GovPress@wisconsin.gov

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