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A Victory for Families in Connecticut

Stephanie, Denise, and their kids in rainbow outfits at Pride
We Care members Stephanie and Denise, and their kids

A victory years in the making, the Connecticut Parentage Act (CPA) was ceremonially signed this afternoon by Governor Ned Lamont and goes into effect on January 1, 2022. This sweeping legislation fills gaps in Connecticut law that fail to protect many child-parent relationships. The CPA will update Connecticut law to ensure equal access to legal parentage for all children, including those with unmarried, same-gender, or nonbiological parents.

Since 2018, GLAD and Yale Law Professor Douglas NeJaime have led the effort to pass the CPA. With GLAD and Professor NeJaime’s leadership and the hard work, stalwart advocacy, and personal family stories of Connecticut families, legal experts, and community organizations, the We Care Coalition was formed. With the legislative leadership of Representative Jeff Currey and Senator Alex Kasser, we built momentum to see the CPA get passed in the House (141-1), then the Senate (unanimous), with overwhelming bipartisan votes.

childhood photo of Malina with her dads and siblings
We Care Coalition member Malina as a child with her family

This critical win expands the record of collaborating to advance comprehensive parentage protections even further in New England, as Rhode Island passed its parentage act in summer 2020, following Maine (2015) and Vermont (2018).  Among other vital protections, these reforms, based on the Uniform Parentage Act, provide clarity on how to establish parentage for children born through assisted reproduction, surrogacy, and to unmarried same-gender parents, expands access to voluntary acknowledgments of parentage, provide guidance for courts on how to resolve competing claims of parentage, and provide paths for recognition of more than two parents. This legislation centers children and aims to protect their relationships with the people they know as parents. These parentage reforms are urgently needed for all families, and particularly for LGBTQ+ families.

Ashley and Adriana at their baby shower surrounded by balloons and a cake that says "baby"
We Care members Ashley and Adriana

At this moment, Massachusetts remains the only New England state without comprehensive parentage legislation. To meet this critical need, GLAD is advocating for the Massachusetts Parentage Act during this legislative session. We have joined forces with Massachusetts families and community organizations to form the Massachusetts Parentage Act Coalition. Have you directly experienced the vulnerabilities of outdated parentage laws? You can help be a part of the work to protect children and families by sharing your story and signing up for updates on massparentage.com.

 

Rep. Jeff Currey, Lisa Rosenthall, Professor Doug NeJaime, advocates Stephanie and Denise, and Patience Crozier
Rep. Jeff Currey, RMACT’s Lisa Rosenthal, Yale Law Professor Doug NeJaime, advocates Stephanie and Denise, and GLAD’s Patience Crozier

Watch the signing ceremony on Facebook.