SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As the rise of nontraditional families leads to disputes under outdated law, California lawmakers returning from summer break will consider bills that seek to update family law.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.