In 2002, when he was already in a relationship with Nancy, Thomas Beatie had sex reassignment surgery to remove his breasts.
With a letter from a doctor certifying his psychological testing and irreversible surgery, Thomas Beatie was allowed to legally change his birth certificate from female to male and his name from Tracy to Thomas in the state of Hawaii.
The couple married in 2003 and he became pregnant after his wife inseminated him with sperm purchased on the Internet and a syringe purchased at a pet store. The couple were rejected by nine doctors when they sought artificial insemination. Susan was born June 29.
In order to secure Nancy Beatie's parental rights, lawyers advise the Beaties to do what many same-sex couples with children do -- have Nancy Beatie, as the nonbiological parent, adopt their baby.
"When there is a slight question whether the marriage will be upheld by a court if it's challenged, the nonbiological parent will take the step of adopting the child, not because it's always necessary but just to make absolutely sure that the parent-child relationship is legally protected," Columbia's Goldberg said.
Polikoff of American University said, "Adoption will guarantee recognition in all states."
The Beaties agree that adoption would protect them, but they don't want to do that as a matter of principle. They see themselves as a legally married heterosexual couple. They note that they file taxes jointly as husband and wife.
"We shouldn't have to adopt our own daughter," Thomas Beatie said.
The Beaties are seeking legal representation to pursue a change in the birth certificate.
"I feel that it's a flawed document," he said. "We'd like to see this process remedied for the next child, for the next pregnant man."