California bill would give parental status to unmarried same-sex couples who have kids

Assemblyman Richard Bloom

Assemblyman Richard Bloom, at an Exide residential cleanup hearing in Los Angeles in August, has authored a bill that would update the state’s Uniform Parentage Act and recognize a parental status to unmarried same-sex couples who have children. Photo: Office of Assemblyman Richard Bloom.

While some Congressmen have gone out of their way to promote legislation that would limit parental rights for LGBTQ families, one State legislator wants to expand them.

Assembly Bill 2684, authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), would update California’s more than 40-year-old Uniform Parentage Act by recognizing parental status to unmarried same-sex couples who have children.

The bill has passed the Assembly and Senate, and on Thursday, it went to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has until September 30 to sign or veto.

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“Since state law – and not federal law – determines who is a parent and each state has its own set of laws, it is vital that California update the Uniform Parentage Act to ensure protection for same-sex couples and their families,” Bloom said in a statement. “AB 2684 fills in gaps in the law to protect all families in California.”

Adopted in 1975, California’s existing parental statutes were enacted to protect the children of unmarried heterosexual couples from discrimination.

AB 2684 would make statutory changes to the law in two other ways.

  • It updates genetic testing provisions to clarify that they apply equally to men and women.
  • It creates a process where children conceived with donated sperm or ova can receive medical information about the donor. Also, when they turn 18, they can receive identifying information about the donor — if the donor agrees.

Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights support the bill.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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