DENVER, CO – Two bills to protect LGBTQ+ Coloradans and affirm the rights of LGBTQ+ parents today passed the committee on Public and Behavioral Health and Human Services.
“Under current law, Colorado doesn’t automatically recognize the parent-child relationship for children conceived through assisted reproductions which makes things complicated for non-traditional and LGBTQ+ families,” said Rep. Kerry Tipper D-Lakewood. “This bill would create a process establishing a legal parent-child relationship and expediting the adoption process so families can spend more time with their newborn and less time on expensive paperwork.”
“Since I gave birth to our child, my wife would have to go through the lengthy, expensive and complicated adoption process to be legally recognized as Marlo’s mom even though she is Marlo’s biological parent,” said Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “With this bill, parents who conceive using assisted reproduction will have fewer hoops to jump through to be legally recognized as the parent of their child. At the end of the day, Marlo is a child that we brought into this world together, and we shouldn’t have to go through background checks, court appearances and so much more for that to be recognized under the law.”
HB22-1153, sponsored by Representatives Kerry Tipper and Daneya Esgar, would create an accessible and streamlined adoption process for parents conceiving through assisted reproduction. Some parents, often LGBTQ+ couples, who conceive using assisted reproduction must currently go through the legal adoption process to be recognized as legal parents. This lengthy, expensive and complicated process is necessary just to be recognized as the legal parent of their child. Currently, Majority Leader Esgar’s wife, Heather, is going through the process of adopting her child, Marlo, who the Majority Leader carried and who is Heather’s biological child.
The adoption process currently requires home visits, court appearances, criminal record checks and countless complicated forms to legally confirm the parent-child relationship. This is all required for a parent to legally adopt their child. This makes parenting exponentially more expensive and time consuming for LGBTQ+ and other non-traditional families. The bill 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.
HB22-1157, sponsored by Representatives Karen McCormick and Brianna Titone, would require the Department of Public Health and Environment to collect health access data that has been voluntarily provided on Colorado communities that have been historically underserved and face disproportionate health impacts. The bill would facilitate the Health Equity Commission to establish a data advisory committee to provide recommendations on a process to collect statewide data on sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity and disability to better address health inequities across the state.
“In order for Colorado to make informed health care decisions, we need to ensure we have the data of our state’s LGBTQ+, disability and underserved communities,” said Rep. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada. “This bill would facilitate the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity, among other demographic information, so we can better support our state’s health care needs. This is an important step in building an equity-based health care system that works to meet the needs of everyone.”
“We’re working hard to build a healthier Colorado and that means meeting the needs of our underserved and underrepresented communities,” said Rep. Karen McCormick, D-Longmont. “By collecting statewide data on ethnicity, gender identity, race, disability, sexual orientation and other critical demographic information, we can make better and more informed health care decisions for our state that will drive better outcomes."