A legal team representing two Davenport women in their fight to have their names on their son’s death certificate is taking a similar battle to the Iowa Supreme Court. Lambda Legal of New York represents gay individuals and couples in civil rights cases.
Lawyers want Iowa’s high court to hear oral arguments in the case of two Des Moines women, Heather and Melissa Gartner. They were legally married in Iowa and want both of their names on their daughter’s birth certificate.
Lambda Legal also represents Jessica and Jenny Buntemeyer of Davenport, who were married in 2010. They filed suit in February against the Iowa Department of Public Health. The couple used Jenny’s eggs and an anonymous donor’s sperm for a baby that Jessica carried, but at 30 weeks the baby died in the womb and was stillborn.
Three months later, the Buntemeyers received the official copy of the baby’s death certificate in the mail, and are unhappy because Jenny’s name had been removed.
By Phil Roberts, Davenport