Beginning March 1, death certificates will reflect a change intended to accommodate members of the LGBT community.
On that date, North Carolina Vital Records will require funeral directors to file a new form of the certificate. The old form had boxes designated for the father’s name and mother’s name for the deceased person. The new form changes those designations to “Father/Parent Name” and “Mother/Parent Name.”
The state will no longer accept the old form beginning March 1, according to a document from N.C. Vital Records, a division of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. “If your funeral home has not received copies of the updated document, please see a vital records staff member for a copy and order form,” the document states.
The change was intended to reach out to the LGBT community, said Kelly Haight, press assistant for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
Texas is among the states that have changed birth and death certificate policies for same-sex couples. Texas’ changes came after a man filed suit when a judge refused to allow him to change the death certificate of his spouse. In 2017, a federal judge ruled that Florida same-sex couples could change the death certificates of their loved ones without having to go to court.
The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages in 2015.
The Orange County Department of Public Health tweeted a notice about the change earlier this week. The tweet urged anyone with questions to call 919-245-2404.
Under North Carolina law, a funeral director, or person acting as such who first assumes custody of a dead body, files a death certificate with the local registrar. The personal data are obtained from the next of kin or the best qualified person or source available, the law states.