SACRAMENTO — As the rise of nontraditional families leads to disputes under outdated law, California lawmakers returning from summer break will consider bills that seek to update family law.
Here are the bills:
• AB2344 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, creates methods for sperm donors and surrogate mothers to clarify their parental and financial responsibilities over biological children and expedites adoptions for non-biological parents, such as a lesbian whose spouse gave birth to their child.
• AB1951 by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, would update state birth certificates to accommodate same-sex couples by including a gender-neutral parent option. Gay men must identify as mothers and lesbian women must identify as fathers under the existing system.
• AB2034 by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, would allow adult children to petition for visitation rights of their parents, even over objections of future spouses. This is meant to simplify their options under existing law.
• AB1628 by Assemblyman Steve Fox, D-Palmdale, would allow grandparents to petition for visitation rights of their grandchildren when a parent is incarcerated or institutionalized. This adds to a list of reasons that grandparents are allowed visitation when the parents are still married.
• AB1701 by Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, is an annual update to California adoption law. One provision allows parents who pre-arrange adoptions to win temporary custody of a child if a birth mother disappears without relinquishing parental rights. Under existing law, the child can be reclaimed during a six month abandonment period without a court hearing.