Unmarried, same-sex couples get parental protections with California law

Gay Rights

Unmarried, same-sex couples with children will be recognized as parents under a new bill signed today by Gov. Jerry Brown.. Photo: LPETTET/iStock

Unmarried same-sex couples with children will be recognized as parents under a new bill signed today by Gov. Jerry Brown.

State law determines who is a parent, and Assembly Bill 2684 will update California’s more than 40-year-old Uniform Parentage Act by acknowledging a parent and child relationship status to children born to unmarried same-sex couples.

“LGBT families deserve to have equal parentage protections under California law,” Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), the bill’s author, said in a statement. “AB 2684 ensures that the Uniform Parentage Act codifies that principle into law and ensures that parentage laws reflect and protect the diverse kinds of families in our state.”

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

Assembly Bill 2684 — which will go into effect January 1, 2020, also will 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.

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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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