Saturday, May 24, 2014

[USA - California] California’s ‘Modern Family Act’ Will Help LGBT Couples Have Kids

Great news from the USA - Something we definitely need here in Australia.

There’s a new bill in Congress that’s got our favorite gay parents Mitch and Cam celebrating — and for good reason!

Just last week, the California State Assembly passed the “Modern Family Act,” which if made into law, would streamline the process for gay couples to adopt and start a “modern” family of their own.

So how would the measure do this exactly? Well for one thing,  it would  eliminate many invasive practices that LGBTQ parents currently have to go through to adopt children — such as multiple home visit evaluations. One gay couple told the Huffington Post that current procedures send the message that “our family isn’t equal.”

It will also provide greater  legal protection for gay parents, and waive common legal fees.

And it’s not just gay couples who would be receiving benefits. Straight couples and single parents will also be affected, as the measure covers issues relating to alternative conception methods, such as sperm donation and surrogacy.

Read More at RYOT

Groundbreaking Law Would Make It Easier For LGBT Couples To Start A Family

When Judy Appel and her partner of 22 years, Alison Bernstein, wanted to have children, the state of California didn’t make it easy.

Bernstein gave birth to their son using an anonymous sperm donor. But in order for Appel to gain legal custody of her child, she had to go through lengthy, complicated and costly measures to adopt him, which included allowing authorities into the family's home multiple times for evaluations.

“It was really invasive,” Appel told The Huffington Post of the process. “They came into our home and studied it. It’s this extra legal hoop that, just by its nature, sends the message that our family isn’t equal.”

Appel and Bernstein’s son is now 16 years old, and much has changed in California since then. Gay marriage is now recognized under state law, and the adoption process for non-biological children of LGBT couples has become more streamlined. But certain counties in the state still require home visits as part of the adoption process. And if a same-sex couple with children moved to a state that didn’t recognize their marriage, the parents’ legal custody could be in jeopardy had no formal adoption taken place beforehand.

“In California, there’s the presumption that my wife is the parent of my child,” Appel said. “But elsewhere, that puts us at risk. What if a kid ends up in the hospital and one of the parents couldn’t visit?”

Read More at HuffPost

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