The Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) Drafting Committee has been hard at work since the last annual meeting on revising the UPA to integrate same-sex couples into the act; to update the act’s surrogacy provisions; and to provide children of assisted reproduction with a right to information about their genetic heritage. Since the annual meeting, the ULC Executive Committee has expanded our committee’s scope to revise the act (rather than merely amending it) and to include the concept of “de facto” parentage in the act.
Our committee was structured to include current or former legislators from Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Minnesota, and Colorado and significant political diversity. We have also benefited from a large and engaged group of observers. We agreed early on that our objective should be to create an act that can be widely adopted. We held in-person meetings in Minneapolis on October 28-29, 2016, and in Seattle on March 10-11, 2017, to read and review proposed changes to the entire act. In addition, we held six telephone meetings focused on several thorny issues in the act as follows:
- September 14: in light of concerns at the annual meeting about including “de facto” parents in the Non-Parental Child Custody and Visitation Act, we discussed taking the approach of many states to treat people who meet listed criteria to be established as full legal parents.
- November 16: we discussed the appropriate distinctions between gestational and genetic surrogacy.
- December 20: after consultation with federal child support enforcement authorities, we broadened the current acknowledgement of paternity process to provide a streamlined means for some same-sex couples to establish parentage through an acknowledgement.
- January 23: we worked on specific language for “de facto” parentage concept and agreed that the act should provide alternatives for states either to limit the maximum number of legal parents to two or to establish more than two parents in extraordinary circumstances.
- February 7: we discussed the effect of noncompliant surrogacy agreements and whether gestational and genetic surrogacy agreements should be treated differently.
- March 29: we re-read language regarding genetic testing, the adjudication process, and assisted reproduction that had been the subject of substantial revisions at our in-person meeting earlier in the month.
We are hopeful that the act will be ready for its final reading this summer in San Diego and look forward to your comments and questions!
Chair, Drafting Committee to Revise the Uniform Parentage Act