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May 23, 2022


Legislation will modernize Colorado’s adoption laws for parents who use assisted reproduction

PUEBLO, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed a bill to simplify the adoption process for parents conceiving through assisted reproductive technologies.

HB22-1153, sponsored by House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, Representative Kerry Tipper, Senate Majority Leader Dominick Moreno and Senator Jeff Bridges, will create an accessible and streamlined adoption process for parents conceiving through assisted reproduction. Prior to this new law, some parents who conceive using assisted reproduction, often LGBTQ+ couples, had to go through an expensive and time-consuming stepparent adoption process to be recognized as legal parents of their children. Esgar’s wife, Heather, faced a burdensome adoption process to gain parental rights over their biological daughter. The bill was named “Marlo’s Law” after the couple’s daughter.

“Prior to this law, my wife would have needed to go through the expensive and ill-fitting step parent adoption process just to be recognized as the legal mother of our child, even though she is Marlo’s biological parent,” said House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Our story is not unique–many parents who conceive using assisted reproduction have walked in our shoes–and this law will make a meaningful impact on families across our state. Marlo’s Law updates the legal process for modern families in Colorado, and I couldn’t be more proud to champion this bill.”

“Nobody should face barriers when it comes to being recognized as the parent of their own child, but before today, that’s what too many Colorado families were confronted with,” said Senate Majority Leader Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City. “Marlo’s Law streamlines a critical process for establishing parent-child relationships and provides equal rights for all families so that new parents can spend more time with their child and less time filling out paperwork.”

“This law eliminates barriers for parents who conceive using assisted reproduction, so these families no longer have to go through a burdensome, expensive, and invasive adoption process to establish the parent-child legal relationship,” said Rep. Kerry Tipper, D-Lakewood. “We’ve modernized the legal process for parents conceiving through assisted reproduction so both parents can receive equal protections and rights.”

“New medical technology allows people to create families in ways our current laws never conceived of,” said Sen. Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village. “With this bill, we’ve created an easy and straightforward way for couples who use assisted reproduction to enjoy the same equal rights and protections as every other Colorado family.”

The adoption process for couples who use assisted reproduction currently requires home visits, court appearances, criminal record checks and countless complicated forms to confirm the parent-child relationship legally, making parenting exponentially more expensive and time consuming for non-traditional families. The law creates a simplified and more affordable process for these families to establish a legal parent-child relationship that must be recognized nationwide and instructs courts to confirm the adoption within 30 days.

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