May 21, 2021
With Unanimous Bipartisan Support, Connecticut Senate Approves Landmark Parentage Bill to Extend Equal Access to Legal Protections for All Children
The Connecticut Parentage Act—which extends parentage protections to all CT children regardless of the circumstances of their birth or their parents’ marital status, gender, or sexual orientation—now heads to the Governor’s desk.
HARTFORD — In a victory for Connecticut families, the state Senate last night voted unanimously to pass the Connecticut Parentage Act (CPA). The House previously passed the CPA on a bipartisan basis141-1, and the bill now goes to Governor Lamont. The CPA will update state law to ensure that all CT children — regardless of the circumstances of their birth or the marital status, gender, or sexual orientation of their parents — have equal access to the security of a legal parent-child relationship.
“This is a historic and long overdue moment for Connecticut – finally all children will be given equal protection under the law, and all parents will be recognized when their child is born,” said Senator Alex Kasser, (Connecticut 36th distict), lead Senate sponsor of the bill. “This bill confirms that there is no place for discrimination in Connecticut. I’m honored to have played a small part in this landmark victory.”
The CPA will modernize Connecticut law by ensuring access to legal parentage for all children, including those with unmarried, same-gender, or non-biological parents. For example, it will extend to same-gender couples access to the Acknowledgement of Parentage process, a simple form already available to unmarried different-gender couples that allows a parent to establish a legal parent-child relationship at birth without court proceedings. The CPA will also provide protections for children conceived through assisted reproduction, which account for four percent of all Connecticut births.
“We are now on the cusp of a Connecticut where all families are treated equally, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or marital status,” said Professor Douglas NeJaime of Yale Law School, a Connecticut native and principal drafter of the bill. “This bill, once signed, will make Connecticut parentage law fair and constitutional and will make LGBTQ parents and their children across the state more secure. We look forward to celebrating that day soon.”
“With this vote the Senate has recognized that every child in Connecticut deserves the security of a legal relationship to their parents, and that the full diversity of Connecticut families should be protected and celebrated,” said Polly Crozier, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) Senior Staff Attorney. “We’re grateful to the leadership of Senator Kasser and Senator Winfield, to lead sponsor Rep. Currey and all of our sponsors and supporters in both the Senate and House, and to every Senator who voted today to protect children. We are hopeful that Governor Lamont will act quickly to sign this critical bill into law.”
The effort to pass the Connecticut Parentage Act is led by the We Care Coalition, a coalition of Connecticut families, legal advocates, and community organizations and spearheaded by a Yale Law School clinic and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. The bill is supported by a broad range of experts and organizations, including child advocates, legal organizations, LGBTQ groups, and medical experts.
The CPA was adapted from model legislation by the Uniform Law Commission, a non-partisan body of state lawmakers, state judges, scholars, and lawyers that produces uniform laws on a wide range of state-law issues. Similar legislation has been passed in Maine, Washington, Vermont, California, and Rhode Island.