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A7FFA230071F89AE872584800059B0EA Hearing Summary


Date Sep 25, 2019      
Location HCR 0112

Parentage Act - Consideration delayed until next meeting

10:19:41 AM  

Marie Avery Moses, Co-chair of the CBA Family Law Section Legislative Committee, reported that the section continues to oppose the act. Some concerns include limiting the ability for some to assert parental rights, the parental rights registry, some of the methods for determining parental rights, and the possibly of losing the standard of the "best interests of the child". Ms. Moses referred back to a previous question of the commission regarding surrogacy law in Colorado and stated that her section has not taken a position on moving forward with the surrogacy laws, but some surrogacy law practitioners could see a benefit in incorporating sections 801 to 812 into existing statutes. Sections 813 to 818 may conflict with state adoption and parentage laws. The commission observed that surrogacy is an area in which medical breakthroughs are moving faster than the law.

The commission pointed out that the impetus behind the act was to make state laws gender neutral, incorporating the constitutional right of same-sex marriages, and legitimizing the children of same-sex marriages. The commission asked how the act affects the standard of the "best interests of the child". Ms. Moses replied that some of the bureaucratic requirements of the act shift the decision away from the court focusing its decision solely based on best interest. There are also changes regarding the burden of proof and the act limits who can assert the presumption of parentage. Colorado already has robust laws regarding the legal rights of same-sex parents and the establishment of parentage outside of marriage. The commission thanked the CBA for their continued input on the act and shared that state and federal child enforcement offices are interested in moving forward with the act. Commissioners Tipper and Scott will work with stakeholders and the commission's consensus was to defer discussion on this act until the next meeting. The commission again briefly discussed drafting the UPC amendments as a stand-alone bill, but the consensus was not to do so at this time.

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details