Governor Brown Signs Legislation to Ensure Equal Parentage Rights for LGBT Parents

Friday, September 28, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a measure to provide the same legal protection to children of same-sex couples as is afforded to other families. AB 2684, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), updates California’s Uniform Parentage Act, which was promulgated to extend the parent-child relationship equally to every child and parent, regardless of the martial status of the parents.

“LGBT families deserve to have equal parentage protections under California law,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “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.”

Adopted in 1975, California’s existing parentage statutes are based on the 1973 Uniform Parentage Act (UPA), which provided states with a legal framework for establishing parent-child relationships.  A core goal of the original 1973 UPA was to eliminate the discriminatory treatment of non-marital children. Since 1975, there have been various updates to the act based on recommendations by the Uniform Law Commission, a non-partisan panel of lawyers that provides states with research and draft legislation in order to promote enactment of uniform state laws.  

AB 2684 updates the UPA in several ways. First, it updates terms, presumptions, and statutory provisions to ensure that parents and children are treated equally, regardless of whether the children are born to same-sex or opposite-sex couples. Next, the bill updates genetic testing provisions to clarify that they apply equally to men and women. Finally, AB 2684 creates a process whereby children conceived with donated sperm or ova can get medical information about the donor and may, at 18 years of age if the donor agrees, receive identifying information about the donor.

"We applaud the Governor for signing this vital bill creating equality for LGBTQ parents and their children,” said Cathy Sakimura, Family Law Director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). “Under this bill, all families who conceive through assisted reproduction can be recognized as legal parents through a free process available at every hospital, finally making these protections accessible to low-income LGBTQ parents."

“This important bill--which implements portions of the Uniform Parentage Act (2017)--updates California law to ensure the equal and fair treatment of LGBTQ families," said Courtney Joslin, Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law. Professor Joslin, a widely published scholar on LGBTQ family law, was a reporter for the 2017 Uniform Parentage Act and was instrumental in drafting this legislation. 

“LGBTQ parents, like all parents, deserve to be treated fairly under the law, regardless of their income level or how they built their families," said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. "We're grateful to Governor Brown for once again showing his support for LGBTQ families by signing AB 2684 and to Assemblymember Bloom for shepherding this bill through the Legislature."

Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.