Updated Parentage Act, which guarantees equal rights for LGBTQ+ parents, passes in the House

BOSTON — The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill that updates parentage laws “to reflect modern-day families” on Wednesday.

An Act to ensure legal parentage equality passed the House with a 156-0 vote and will now go to the Senate for consideration.

Parentage laws in the state, which involve the legal parent-child relationship, are broad. The rights and responsibilities include the ability to make decisions during medical appointments, manage a child’s finances, and participate in educational decision-making.

For some LGBTQ+ families in the Commonwealth, who utilize assisted reproductive treatments or surrogacy, there’s a grey area around their legal rights. Many advocacy groups are pushing for updated laws to clarify how people who build their families through assisted reproduction and/or surrogacy can secure legal parenting rights.

“Ensuring that the Commonwealth’s laws reflect an evolving society, along with the implications of modern technology, is a key responsibility that we have as elected officials,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “By bolstering protections for children born through assisted reproduction, surrogacy, and to same-sex parents, we are doing just that.”

Lawmakers say this bill establishes a clear path to parentage for families or couples who fall into the legal grey area. They also say the bill safeguards against abuse and protections for domestic violence survivors and military parents.

It is unclear when the bill will be put to vote in the Senate.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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