California amended the Uniform Parentage Act in 2018 to help same-sex parents have the same opportunities and consideration as other parents. It also encompasses the Parentage Opportunity Program.
The act is a game changer for same-sex parents who have in the past struggled with issues of parental rights due to antiquated recordkeeping rules.
Through the act, both parents of a child can more easily solidify parental rights. They are allowed to both create a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage to create a legal connection to their children. Even if the parents are not in a married relationship, the act still allows for this to occur. It is also valid if one parent has a biological connection to the child or if neither does. It does not apply in cases where there is a surrogacy situation, which follows other laws to solidify parentage.
Having legal parentage rights is incredibly important in same-sex couples where one parent may have no biological or legal connection to a child. For example, if one parent adopted a child, the other parent has no legal rights to that child unless he or she also adopts or creates legal parentage. In such a situation, if the parents divorce or split up, the parent without legal parentage has no rights to the child. It can create serious legal struggles that the act helps to alleviate.
Using the rights under the Uniform Parentage Act allows same-sex families to ensure both parents can be legally active in the children’s lives and can make any type of custody arrangement much easier to navigate.