Legislation updates Colorado law to ensure that all parents who conceive through assisted reproductive technology (ART), regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital status, are eligible for the same rights and legal protections.

Pueblo, CO – Today Governor Jared Polis signed legislation co-sponsored by Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, Representative Kerry Tipper, Majority Leader Dominick Moreno, and Senator Jeff Bridges to ensure protections for all Colorado parents creating families through assisted reproductive technology. HB22-1153 was developed through stakeholding with LGBTQ+ Coloradans, and specifically brought forward by Heather Palm, wife to Majority Leader Esgar and mom to Marlo. The signing took place at Pueblo City Hall in Pueblo, CO where the Esgar-Palm family resides, and where Majority Leader Esgar has led a celebrated career through eight years in the state legislature representing the Pueblo community.

Formerly the “Family Affirmation Act,” the bill was amended during its April 1st Senate hearing to be named in honor of Marlo, daughter of Co-Prime Sponsor and House Majority Leader Esgar and her wife, Heather Palm. The eponymous title reflects the inspiration, grit, courage, and beauty the Esgar-Palm family embodies and their efforts–in collaboration with other families across Colorado–to ensure that all parents and children have equal protections under state law. HB22-1153 would not have been possible without the many LGBTQ+ families who shared their stories with the General Assembly.

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

“We are so happy to see Marlo’s Law signed by Governor Polis today. There are many families, like Majority Leader Esgar, her wife Heather Palm and their daughter Marlo’s – and all these families will now have fewer obstacles in their way to become parents and raise loving families.” – Nadine Bridges, MSW (she/her), One Colorado Executive Director

“The Senate sponsors of the bill decided this should be named after Marlo because it is the story of our family. I was taken by surprise and truly amazed. I just can’t thank everyone enough for how special this is.”–Representative Daneya Esgar (she/her), D-Pueblo, House Majority Leader and Co-Prime Sponsor

“Marlo is the inspiration behind this bill, and the short title of the bill will be named Marlo’s Law.”–Representative Kerry Tipper (she/her), D-Jefferson, House Co-Prime Sponsor

“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.”–Majority Leader 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 

HB22-1153 updates Colorado law to ensure that all parents who conceive through assisted reproductive technology (ART), regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital status, are eligible for the same rights and legal protections. Previously, Colorado law had largely not been updated since the invention of ART, and consequently, families formed through ART faced legal discrimination and barriers in achieving guaranteed, nationwide legal recognition. HB22-1153 creates a simplified, streamlined adoption process designed for parents who conceive through ART, and it modernizes Colorado’s outdated parentage 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.

The law will go into effect August 2022, 90 days after the adjournment of the 2022 Legislative Session. 

View Majority Leader Esgar’s full remarks from today’s bill signing at One Colorado’s Instagram.

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Pictured L to R:

  1. Heather Palm, Majority Leader Daneya Esgar and their daughter, Marlo.
  2. Governor Jared Polis signs HB22-1153 and gives the signatory pen to Marlo, the bill’s namesake. Marlo is held by her parents Heather Palm and Majority Leader Esgar, with One Colorado’s Executive Director Nadine Bridges.
  3. One Colorado’s Executive Director Nadine Bridges, Heather Palm, Majority Leader Esgar and their daughter, Marlo, with One Colorado’s Policy Manager Meredith Gleitz.