Scutari Bill to Streamline Securing Parental Rights for Same-Sex Couples Signed into Law
Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari, which would establish a process to obtain a judgment of adoption by a spouse or partner in a civil union, was signed into law today by Governor Phil Murphy.
“For many years, same-sex couples have been the subject of complicated and discriminatory legal proceedings to be granted parental rights for the partner not genetically related to the child. But this discrimination ends today,” said Senator Scutari (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “This new law will establish an efficient judicial process that will be available to same-sex couples who have utilized assisted reproduction. These couples will finally be given their long overdue legal right to be recognized equally as the parents of their child.”
“While states across the country pass laws to restrict access to protections for LGBTQ families, it is vital to acknowledge the unwavering support of Senator Scutari for leading and championing this legislation that eliminates the invasive and costly barriers of confirmatory adoptions for families here in New Jersey,” said Danni Newbury, Coordinator of the Union County Office of LGBTQ Services. “A law was written with such care and intent that it secures parental rights throughout the country by streamlining the process to obtain a judgment establishing parentage for the two-parent family where the biological parent and the non-biological are on the birth certificate.”
The new law will establish a process through which spouses and partners in civil unions can obtain a judgment of adoption that reflects that both spouses or partners are legal parents of a child conceived through the use of assisted reproduction. Under the law, parental rights confirmed through this process would be as those of “co-parent.”
The law will also specify that no home study or background check will be required by the court to issue a judgment of adoption and clarify that nothing in its provisions will be deemed to terminate the parental rights of any individual.