Birth certificate names both Knoxville women as baby's parents
KNOXVILLE (WBIR) -
Our NBC News partners at WBIR are reporting a Knoxville baby has made history in Tennessee as the first to have a woman listed as the "father" on her birth certificate.
The baby's parents, Sophy Jesty and Valeria Tanco, made headlines last month when a federal judge in Nashville recognized their same-sex marriage and the marriages of two other couples.
Jesty and Tanco filed suit against the state in 2013. The couple married in New York, where gay marriage is legal, but they now live in Tennessee.
Through a preliminary injunction, the state recognizes their marriage. However, the state appealed the federal judge's ruling to the 6th Circuit. As of now, the state is forced to recognize the couple's marriage.
Two weeks after the preliminary injunction, Tanco gave birth to Emilia Maria Jesty.
While much of their life has become public over the past year, they want to keep this part private; they asked we not show Emilia. She is now 15 days old.
"I call it the baby high. Despite no sleep, you can look at her and just fall in love all over again," Tanco said.
When Emilia was born at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, the birth certificate only had two options--mother and/or father.
"Val was in the mother slot so I was in the father slot. I imagine if same-sex marriage is recognized in the state, that at some point a couple years down the line, that the paperwork will change to reflect that. But for now I'm on the father slot and that's okay," Jesty said.
This means Jesty and Tanco both have parental rights. But there is still a chance the state could no longer recognize their marriage.
"We are aware that if the case goes against us, that things could be reversed," said Jesty.
Tanco went on to say, "It's my expectation that once something like this is done, it's harder to undo."
Their attorney, Regina Lambert, is ready to keep fighting.
"They're brave and honest and willing to put themselves in a public way to do what they believe is right and to help other people who can't," Lambert said.
Tanco added, "It was just an experience that I think anyone should be able to experience with their own children and we got that."
Saturday, January 20 2018 9:37 AM EST2018-01-20 14:37:09 GMT
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