Denver, CO – On March 23rd, the Colorado Senate Health & Human Services Committee voted 7-0 to unanimously pass HB22-1153 “Family Affirmation Act” onto the Senate Committee of the Whole.

One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, released the following statements:

“While many parents in Colorado through assisted reproductive technology are entitled to a presumption of parentage based on giving birth or by being married to the birthing parent, other jurisdictions are not required to abide by another state’s legal presumptions or birth certificates. Other jurisdictions do, however, have to give full faith and credit to a court order. Hence, a segment of Colorado’s population is forced to adopt their own children – often going through an expensive and time consuming process – including fingerprinting, background checks, a court hearing – in order to protect their families. HB22-1153 follows the model set by other states before it: recognizing the need of families through assisted reproduction to have legal protection, but also acknowledging that routes under our current law are overly burdensome and a form of continued legal discrimination. While HB22-1153 does not end the discrimination faced by many Coloradan families, it provides needed protection both in and out of our state.”
– Ellen Trachman, Attorney representing the Colorado Women’s Bar Association who testified in favor of HB22-1153

“What is heartbreaking to me is that heteronormative couples who use a sperm or egg donor due to infertility are not required to go through an adoptive process to be legally considered the parent of their child. We must make this process less expensive and eliminate the legal discrimination that is currently being imposed on LGBTQ+ couples who want to start families.”
– Megan Andersen, Colorado parent who testified in favor of HB22-1153

“My wife Holly and I have been together for 10 years and have two beautiful children together. Our experience is unique because Holly gave birth to Sammie while I gave birth to Jacob. In order for each of us to have unquestionable rights to our non-biological child, we had to adopt our brand new babies just days after they were born. We were lucky to be able to have the funds to pay for adoption, but some of our friends do not. HB22-1153 will make it easier for other parents like us to have rights to their children because no one should have to worry about whether they are seen as their child’s parent in the eyes of the law.”
– Jennifer Masket-Valenta, Real estate agent and Colorado parent who testified in favor of HB22-1153

“The laws are currently insufficient for LGBTQ families. I am currently unable to gain the indisputable status as legal parent to my 5 year old. My petition for stepparent adoption was denied by the court in Boulder County last year. The court found that because I already have some minimal protections as my child’s presumptive parent, for example being listed on their birth certificate, I am not eligible to go through the stepparent adoption process to receive full recognition and protection as my child’s legal parent. Being the presumptive parent and the legal parent are not the same, and there’s no guarantee that my rights as a parent will be recognized in other states or countries. Parents like me need an adoption process that is specific to families like ours, rather than being shoehorned into a “stepparent” adoption process that doesn’t reflect how we view our families and in my case, even resulted in a denial of my rights.”
– Liz Antognoli, Aerospace engineer and Colorado parent who testified in favor of HB22-1153

“As a member of Colorado’s LGBTQ Caucus, I’m proud to sponsor HB22-1153 as it is one of the many necessary steps toward equality in the law. By removing barriers to becoming a legally recognized parent, we’re making a commitment to supporting all families, including LGBTQ parents.”
–Senator Dominick Moreno (he/him), D-Adams, Senate Majority Leader and Co-Prime Sponsor

“Parents are parents no matter what science helps them become parents. This bill makes common-sense changes to outdated Colorado laws to make sure that we’re aligned with the reality of how people become parents today.”
–Senator Jeff Bridges (he/him), D-Arapahoe, Senate Majority Whip and Co-Prime Sponsor

“An LGBTQ couple’s decision to become parents is a beautiful one, filled with love and joy. There should not be obstacles that discriminate against the rights of the parent. Parents are parents, not stepparents or second-parents! HB22-1153 ensures that Colorado families and parents of all types are seen and recognized on their journey to raising a family. ”
– Nadine Bridges, MSW (she/her), One Colorado Executive Director

The bill creates a simplified, streamlined adoption process designed for parents who conceive through assisted reproductive technology (ART). Current Colorado law was largely written prior to the invention of ART, and consequently, families formed through ART now face legal discrimination and barriers in achieving guaranteed, nationwide legal recognition. HB22-1153 improves Colorado’s outdated adoption laws so that rightful parents are not denied legal recognition, their children are not denied legal protection, and families are not denied the respect and dignity they deserve.

Co-prime sponsors of HB22-1153 in the House are Majority Leader Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo) and Representative Kerry Tipper (D-Jefferson).

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