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Submit Testimony in Support of the MPA

Thank you for your support of the Massachusetts Parentage Act (MPA)!

On November 9, the Joint Judiciary Committee is hearing the MPA. You can make an impact by submitting official testimony, either in person and/or in writing. Below, you will find a template for written testimony that we hope will help make it quick and easy for you to make sure your voice is heard.

Please adapt the template testimony below to share your reasons for supporting the bill, to express your personal investment in this issue – and to tell legislators why they should support the MPA too.

  • To submit testimony online, please email your testimony to Polly Crozier (pcrozier@glad.org) with the email subject line: Testimony in Support of the Massachusetts Parentage Act.
  • If you would like to testify in person, please contact Kate Weldon LeBlanc (kwleblanc@resolvenewengland.org) or Polly Crozier (pcrozier@glad.org).

Thank you for advocating with us to reform parentage laws in the Commonwealth to reflect the rich diversity of families in our state and protect ALL children in Massachusetts!

 

Testimony Letter Template

[On letterhead if applicable]

[Date]

Joint Committee on Judiciary
Massachusetts Legislature
State House
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Chair Eldridge, Chair Day, Vice Chair Lesser, Vice Chair Tyler and Members of the Judiciary Committee:

I write in strong support of S.1133/H.1714, An Act Relative to Parentage to Promote Children’s Security, also known as the Massachusetts Parentage Act (MPA). The MPA will comprehensively update parentage laws in the Commonwealth, ensuring that all children have equal access to the security of a legal parent-child relationship, regardless of the circumstances of the child’s birth or the marital status, gender, or sexual orientation of their parents. A child’s parental relationship is the foundation of their healthy development and well-being over a lifetime, and Massachusetts law must respect and protect all children.

Massachusetts is the only New England state which has not updated its parentage laws, and this leaves our children vulnerable to many harms, including family separation. Massachusetts courts have tried to keep pace through the case law, but they need guidance and comprehensive policy to ensure that these core protections are codified in our statutes.

[Who you are and why you care about this issue]

This legislation is critical because [include the reason(s) most important to you, for example:]

Massachusetts law does not adequately protect LGBTQ couples raising children and leaves the relationship between the non-biological parent and child vulnerable.

Massachusetts law does not reflect the diversity of families in our state and leaves some children without access to the protections of legal parentage.

Massachusetts has the highest rate of births through assisted reproduction in the country, yet our statutes do not adequately protect all children born through assisted reproduction. We need comprehensive protections securing the relationship between intended parents and their children, and we need clarity that gamete donors are not parents.

Massachusetts law lacks clear standards to protect all involved in the surrogacy process, including the intended parents, donors, and people acting as surrogates. Massachusetts appeals courts have called for legislative action for decades, most recently in Adoption of Daphne and Guardianship of Keanu. Best-practice guidance is long overdue.

Based on the Uniform Parentage Act of 2017, the MPA has been thoughtfully crafted by leading experts in parentage law to meet the needs of children and families. The bill will ensure that the Commonwealth’s parentage laws remain constitutional, reflect best practices, and protect all children in the Commonwealth.

I hope you will report the MPA, S.1133/H.1714, favorably out of committee. Thank you so much for your consideration, and please do not hesitate to contact me for any additional information.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your home address (if Massachusetts resident) and/or work address (if applicable)]
[Your email address]


Thank you for taking action!