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On September 16, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 2349 that will protect the rights of those who have their children via gestational surrogate, including many same-sex couples, from having their parental rights jeopardized or put at risk outside the state of California.
AB 2349, which was crafted by Assemblymember David Chui of San Francisco, helps safeguard parental rights for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation.
According to a press release originating from David Chui’s office this month, AB 2349 will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.
“As LGBT civil rights are threatened in other states at an alarming rate, California is once again continuing to lead the nation in protecting all families, including same-sex couples forming their families through assisted reproduction,” Assemblymember Chiu said in his press release. He added, “We are helping to ensure that the progressive protections offered in California regarding parentage rights are respected and enforced across state lines.”
The press release noted that in Texas and Alabama, recent cases have placed non-biological parents in a precarious position in where they had to defend their right of parentage.
Not all states are enlightened like California. Yes, even though same-sex marriage is legal across the nation, some states may cite that parents who do not have biological ties to their child must obtain an adoption order.
The goal of AB 2349 is to protect all intended parents, biological or not.
“LGBT parents are especially vulnerable when our community is targeted with discriminatory laws,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, who was quoted in the press release. He went on to say, “This law will strengthen the rights of California LGBT parents whether their children are born in or out of state from the moment of conception, through birth and beyond.”
The press release also pointed out that some states that are resisting equality are creating ways to destabilize the rights of same-sex marriage. An example used was a judgment which denied “full faith and credit” simply because the court’s decision lacked jurisdiction.
The press release cited, “This bill provides two simple clarifications that would help many parents, especially same-sex couples, avoid costly litigation and emotionally distressing situations that could potentially lead to losing their wanted child, as well as protecting California surrogates from another state entering an order inconsistent with California’s legislative scheme.”
Governor Brown’s signature underscored a momentous step which brings the LGBT community closer to equal legal protection that should be afforded all families.
“It is important for parents of children conceived through artificial reproduction in California from having their rights violated outside our state. AB 2349 will secure the future of these families created through surrogacy, egg or sperm donation, by allowing their California agreements upheld regardless of where they live now or sometime in the future,” said Kristine Colburn, president of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers in the press release.
While many don’t want to see another year fly by, when it comes to AB 2349, the New Year can’t get here soon enough.