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Scutari, Codey Bill to Streamline Securing Parental Rights for Same-Sex Couples Passes Senate

Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari and Senator Richard J. Codey, which would establish a process to obtain a judgment of adoption by a spouse or partner in a civil union, passed the Senate today.

“For many years, same-sex couples have been the subject of complicated and discriminatory legal proceedings in order to be granted parental rights for the partner not genetically related to the child,” said Senator Scutari (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “This legislation would establish an efficient judicial process that will be available to same-sex couples who have utilized assisted reproduction. These couples will be given their long overdue legal right to be recognized equally as the parents of their child.”

“This legislation would right a wrong within our legal system,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex/Morris). “A child born with the utilization of assisted reproduction will view both individuals of a same-sex marriage equally as their parents and it’s time for the legal system to do the same.”

The bill, S-3528, would establish a process through which spouses and partners in civil unions can obtain a judgment of adoption that reflects that both spouses or partners are legal parents of a child conceived through the use of assisted reproduction. Under the bill, parental rights confirmed through this process would be as those of “co-parent.” The term “co-parent” would refer to either or both spouses or partners.

The bill would also specify that no home study or background check would be required by the court in order to issue a judgement of adoption and clarify that nothing in its provisions would be deemed to terminate the parental rights of any individual.

The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 37-0.