Passport Forms Go Gender Neutral

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com January 05 2011 4:25 PM ET

Starting this week, citizenship forms for children of American parents born outside of the U.S. and passport applications will now feature gender neutral areas making it easier for gay and lesbian parents to obtain passports for their children.

The change, which began Monday, will use the title of "parent" instead of "mother" and "father." The new language will also show up on Consular Report of Birth Abroad forms, an official record confirming that a child born overseas to an American parent can become a citizenship at birth. "These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families," the department said in a December statement.

Jennifer Chrisler, the executive director of Family Equality Council, which led the effort to change the forms, applauded the new forms.

“The updates remove significant challenges for the two million children being parented by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) parents,” Chrisler said in a statement on Wednesday. “The new forms prevent denial or delays for accessing fundamental aspects of American citizenship, and send a positive message of inclusion in American life for children with same-sex parents. We are grateful to both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama for prioritizing this change.”