A bill was filed in Connecticut’s state house this week that would expand rights for all children and parents in the state, and would allow more LGBTQ families to establish legal relationships.
According to the Yale Law School “We Care Coalition”, Proposed Bill 6321 would ensure all children in Connecticut have equal access to the security of a legal parent-child relationship, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, or the marital status, gender, or sexual orientation of their parents.
“Right now, Connecticut parentage law is outdated and unconstitutional, and it leaves many children without the protection of a legal relationship with their parents,” the WCC said. “The CPA ensures that parentage law reflects and protects the great diversity of families in Connecticut.”
Legal parentage comes with a number of rights, including custody, parenting time, and decision-making. It also comes with responsibilities like providing care, financial support, and health insurance.
If a problem arises, the WCC said it is particularly important for a parent and child to have a legally established relationship. “For example, legal parents are able to make medical decisions, to provide health insurance and other benefits, and to ensure that their child inherits in the event of death,” it said.
Currently, Connecticut is the only New England state without protections or paths to parentage for non-biological parents to establish their legal parent-child relationship. As it stands, the state’s parentage law does not protect children’s relationships with unmarried, non-biological parents, and instead treats those parents as legal strangers to their children, regardless of how long they have been parenting, or the depth of the parent-child bond.
“Current Connecticut law does not protect LGBTQ couples raising children and leaves the relationship between the non-biological parent and child vulnerable,” the WCC said. “[It also] does not provide LGBTQ parents access to parentage through an Acknowledgment of Parentage, which is the simple administrative route that establishes parentage at the time.”
The state’s current parentage law also fails to protect all children born through assisted reproduction by securing the relationship between intended parents and their children.
Lawmakers said it also lacks “clear standards” to protect all involved in the surrogacy process, including both the intended parents and the surrogate.
“CT has the second highest rate of births through assisted reproduction in the country,” the WCC said. “These children deserve equal protection of their parentage.”
The WCC is now accepting written testimony in support of the proposed Connecticut CPA bill. Click here for more information.