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VOLUNTARY DECLARATIONS OF PARENTAGE FOR LGBT COMMUNITY USING ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY

In 2020 California enacted a new law amending Family Code 7574 https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/family-code/fam-sect-7574.html that allows couples who use assisted reproduction to have a child to complete a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage form at the hospital or at any time after the child’s birth in front of a notary. This has the effect of a Judgment of parentage. It means that two people who sign it are to be recognized as the child’s parents in all states. Previously only an unmarried mother and the biological father could sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. Under federal law the Declaration is the equivalent of a court order and secures important protections for the right to social security benefits, military benefits, inheritance rights, health insurance and survivor benefits from both parents. It is therefore advisable for same sex couples to sign a Declaration (even if they are legally married in California) because many states do not recognize parentage by marriage and only recognize biological parents as legal parents. California couples who have used donor sperm or eggs are could be at risk if they move to one of those states. https://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-parentage.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=en

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