Davenport Couple Gets Day in Court - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Davenport Couple Gets Day in Court


They are two parents, but there is just one name on their baby's death certificate. It's why a same-sex couple from Davenport sued, and the case was heard in a Des Moines courtroom Friday. "Ultimately we are his parents, both of our son's parents," Jessica Buntemeyer tells us.

As she and wife Jenny look forward to the birth of baby Liam, they are also looking forward to telling him about his brother Brayden. "Just everything, you know," Jess says. "That he has a big brother who is always watching over him. And obviously tell him about what he's doing that will hopefully, ultimately make history."

It been a year since Jess delivered Brayden, at 30 weeks, stillborn. When the couple filled out the death certificate, Jess signed the line for "Mother".  And Jenny wrote her name in the only other space available, "Father". But when the couple got the certificate back, the Iowa Department of Public Health had whited-out Jenny's name, refusing to acknowledge her as a parent.

Jenny says, "She had 3 hours of absolute horrible labor to give birth to him, and he was my egg, he was my flesh and blood. I don't see how anyone, anywhere can say that neither one of us deserve the title of Mother". So these moms filed a lawsuit, saying their grief was compounded when state workers erased Jenny's name.

And attorneys for both sides argued the case in a Polk County courtroom. The two say the hearing took just an hour, but will make a difference for the rest of their lives. Not only for their family, they say, but for others. "We have had a horrible situation happen to us," Jenny says. "But if we can fight a little bit and make it a little bit better for someone else so they're not gonna have to deal with this, it's worth it to us."

The Buntemeyers say the judge's decision could come down any time. But they expect once that happens, there will be an appeal, and this will go all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court.





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