Gay parents pleased that fight is over

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They challenged an Oklahoma rule barring state officials from recognizing same-sex adoptions.
October 15, 2007


"...Ed Swaya and Greg Hampel, who went through a wedding ceremony in 1999, filled out the paperwork to get the document but received a certificate back from the Health Department that listed Hampel as the father, but left off Swaya's name, he said.

"'It said they couldn't establish maternity for Mr. Swaya, so they left my name off the birth certificate," Swaya said. "They didn't want to put two men's names on the birth certificate.'

"The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund sent a letter on behalf of Swaya, 46, a marriage counselor, and Hampel, 38, a first-grade teacher, to the Health Department, which then sought an opinion from Attorney General Drew Edmondson's office.

"The opinion concluded that if a couple of the same gender received an adoption decree in another state for an Oklahoma-born child, and the decree listed both partners as parents, the Health Department would have to issue a supplementary birth certificate, also listing both partners as parents.

"'The Department of Health complied and that should've been the end of the story,' said Kenneth Upton, an attorney for Lambda Legal Defense in Dallas. 'But apparently some people in the Legislature became very upset that the state of Oklahoma issued a birth certificate with two parents listed of the same sex.'"