Human Rights Campaign Praises Colorado Gov. Jared Polis for Signing “Marlo’s Law”

by Aneesha Pappy

PUEBLO— Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — praises Colorado Governor Jared Polis for signing HB22-1153, “Marlo’s Law,” legislation that modernizes Colorado family law including for same-sex parents by streamlining the process for non-biological parents of a child conceived through assisted reproduction to be presumed the parents and complete the adoption. The law provides them equal opportunity in legally recognizing their parental status.

“Governor Polis’s signature on this bill is a significant step forward in ensuring the legal recognition of the parent-child relationship for children conceived with reproductive assistance. Modernizing the laws benefits many LGBTQ+ people in Colorado as they become parents and create families,” said Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “By removing barriers to the legal recognition of parenthood, lawmakers are affirming families and providing greater security to children. We applaud Gov. Polis for taking action to support all Colorado families and celebrate this victory for the LGBTQ+ community.”

Discrimination in the Adoption Process for Same-Sex Couples

Many same-sex couples face discriminatory hurdles and inequity when trying to gain legal recognition of their parental status. When testifying on behalf of this bill in February, Colorado State Representative Daneya Esgar shared her own experience confronting the discriminatory adoption laws for same-sex couples who conceived through assisted reproductive technology. While Rep. Esgar was pregnant with her daughter, Marlo, Rep. Esgar’s wife, Heather, discovered that the pre-existing Colorado adoption law would force Heather to file for a step-parent adoption even though she is Marlo’s biological mother. Regardless of the fact that both Rep. Esgar and Heather were listed as parents on the birth certificate, Heather was not presumed the parent of their daughter and was not eligible for equal parental rights. Rep. Esgar and Heather’s story is not unique and highlights one of the many ways that LGBTQ+ families have faced discrimination in the adoption process. Gov. Jared Polis’ signature of the “Marlo’s Law” shows a commitment to safeguarding LGBTQ+ parents from discriminatory adoption policy and is a step forward towards ensuring that LGBTQ+ families have equitable protections.

Watch Rep. Esgar’s testimony here.

LGBTQ+ Adoption Resources here and here.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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