Oregon recognizes domestic partners

(Editor’s note- This article appeared in the Jan. 1 edition. After the press deadline on Friday, Dec. 28, it was announced this change would not become effective Jan. 1. There is a challenge to it and thus it awaits a court ruling.)
    
Same sex couples will soon be able to register as legally recognized domestic partners, following passage of the Oregon Family Fairness Act by the 2007 Legislature.

The law went into effect Jan. 1, and couples can file forms with county
clerks starting Jan. 2, said Jennifer Woodward, State Registrar in the
Oregon Department of Human Services Public Health Division.
   
Declaration
of Domestic Partnership forms and information is now available on the
Web at http://oregon.gov/DHS/ph/chs/index.shtml. Forms will be
available at county clerks’ offices throughout the state beginning Jan.
2. County clerk office locations are listed in the white pages of the
telephone book under the County Government section.
   
Forms
can be obtained via mail from the DHS Center for Health Statistics,
Attn: Mary Ann Jensen, 800 N.E. Oregon St., Suite 225, Portland, OR
97232; or requested via e-mail at Mary.ann.jensen@state.or.us.
   
"Because
this is a legal form, it’s important for applicants to read the
accompanying instructions for completing it," said Woodward.
   
The
completed, signed and notarized forms can be registered at any county
clerk’s office. Certified copies of the declaration filed at the county
can be purchased when filed or at any time after the declaration is
registered. Contact the county clerk’s office for fee information.
   
On
a monthly basis, county clerks will send registered Declaration of
Domestic Partnership forms to the DHS Center for Health Statistics
where they will be filed as vital records.
   
Certified vital
record copies of declarations filed at the Center for Health Statistics
can be purchased by family members, legal representatives, or persons
or organizations with a personal or property right. Cost is $20 for a
first copy and $15 for each additional copy ordered at the same time.
   
Woodward
advises individuals to allow six weeks after the record is registered
with the County Clerk to allow time for the record to be transferred to
the Center for Health Statistics and entered into the vital records
system.
 

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