The Family Affirmation Act, legislation to simplify the adoption process for parents who conceived using an array of fertility technology and other assistance, passed the House by a vote of 53-11.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kerry Tipper (D-Lakewood) and Rep. Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo), would create an accessible and streamlined adoption process for parents conceiving through assisted reproduction, such as in vitro fertilization or surrogacy. Some parents, specifically LGBTQ couples, who conceive using assisted reproduction must currently go through the legal adoption process for the non-gestational parent or parents to be recognized as legal parents. 

“When parents conceive using assisted reproduction, the law doesn’t always automatically recognize the parent-child relationship,” said Tipper in a news release. “In Colorado, there is a burdensome adoption process used to establish the parent-child legal relationship, which is costly, invasive, and time-consuming. The Family Affirmation Act would create a simplified legal process for parents so they can spend more time with their newborn and less time navigating the adoption process.”

The adoption process currently requires home visits, court appearances, criminal record checks, and a number of forms to legally confirm the parent-child relationship as part of the adoption process. This makes parenting much more expensive and time-consuming for LGBTQ and other non-traditional families. The Family Affirmation Act would create a process for families to establish a legal parent-child relationship that must be recognized nationwide and instruct courts to confirm the adoption within 30 days.

“Under Colorado’s laws, my wife still needs to go through the expensive and complicated adoption process just to be legally recognized as the mother of our child, even though she is Marlo’s biological parent,” said Esgar in a news release. “My wife, and every parent that goes through assisted reproduction, should have the same parental rights that I do. It’s time to modernize our laws so that every parent in our state has equal protections under the law.”