Kate and Mary had been together since 2008 but never married.  Eager to start their family, Kate was implanted with embryos created with Mary’s egg and the two happily welcomed their son Matthew.  Unfortunately for Kate, even though this was her son whom she carried for nine months, she was not considered a legal parent – in fact, Connecticut considered Kate to be a legal stranger to Matthew.  Kate’s only option was to go through the long and costly process of adoption.  

Similarly, Stacey and her husband John welcomed their daughter Sarah.  John left the family and had no relationship with Sarah, thereafter.   Stacey then married Steven, who has acted as a parent to Sarah since she was two-years-old.  Sarah is now fourteen-years-old.  Were Stacey to die, Steven would have no parental rights with respect to Sarah.

The Connecticut Parentage Act (“CPA”), which went into effect on January 1, 2022, aims to solve these problems.  The CPA creates paths to legal parental relationships for LGBTQ, unmarried or non-biological parents, and their children.  The CPA allows parents to establish parentage in the following ways: giving birth (except for surrogates), adoption, presumption (such as being married to a child’s birth parent at the time the child is born or residing in the same household with a child and being held out as a parent for at least two years from the child’s birth), genetic connections (except for donors), de facto parentage (if the parent meets seven defined standards), and intended parentage through surrogacy or assisted reproduction.  

The CPA may allow a child to have more than two legal parents if the Court finds that failure to do so would be detrimental to the child.  To make the parentage official, the parents will need to take additional legal steps.  Creating a legal parentage allows for changes in custody rights, parental decision-making, financial support responsibilities, and inheritance rights.

The CPA goes a long way in providing critical legal recognition of the changing nature of families today by expanding the definitions of parent and child.  For more information, please contact Kimberly T. Smith (, Heather J. Lange ( or another BW attorney. 

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