New Colorado law removes barriers for LGBTQ+, others adopting their own children

A new Colorado law clears existing hurdles for couples who become parents through assisted reproduction.

HB22-1153, signed into law Monday by Gov. Jared Polis in Pueblo, overhauls what had been a burdensome process for many LGBTQ+ couples in particular.

Across the country, including in Colorado, one must adopt their own child if and when their partner has given birth using assisted reproduction. For these couples, that has meant home visits from government officials, court appearances and all kinds of paperwork, plus legal fees.

The new law removes the baseline requirement for home visits, fingerprinting or criminal record searches, and in-person court hearings. Among other changes, the law requires simply that affected parents file a petition containing basic information, including a child’s birth certificate, and that the court certify proper petitions within 30 days.

“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, a Commerce City Democrat who sponsored the policy.

HB22-1153 was overwhelmingly supported by the legislature, passing unanimously in the Senate and by a vote of 53 to 11 in the House.

House sponsor Daneya Esgar, the chamber’s majority leader, was personally touched by the policies this new law will undo.

“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,” said Esgar, a Pueblo Democrat.

The bill was formally titled Affirm Parentage Adoption In Assisted Reproduction, but lawmakers later voted to name it Marlo’s Law, in honor of Esgar’s daughter.

Esgar and Moreno were joined in sponsorship by Democratic state Rep. Kerry Tipper of Lakewood and Democratic state Sen. Jeff Bridges of Greenwood Village. The law goes into effect in August.

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