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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL)

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Minnesota House of Representatives Pass Uniform Parentage Act

Monday, April 29, 2024

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HF 3567 chief-authored by Representative Athena Hollins (DFL-Saint Paul), on a 68-61 vote. The Uniform Parentage Act aims to make it easier and clearer for Minnesotans to determine who is legally considered a parent when a child is born through assisted reproduction (like IVF) or surrogacy. 

"I'm proud we passed my legislation to modernize Minnesota's laws surrounding parentage in assisted reproduction and surrogacy,” said Rep. Hollins. “Families formed through these alternative processes deserve clarity and security. This bill, informed by the expertise of the Uniform Law Commission, establishes a consistent and fair framework for determining parentage, protecting the rights of intended parents and surrogates, and safeguarding the privacy of gamete donors. It's a step forward in ensuring all Minnesota families have a strong legal foundation for the future." 

When Minnesota made marriage equality the law of the land in 2013, it created gender-neutral recognition for legally married couples across state law. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges held that laws barring marriage between two people of the same sex are unconstitutional. However, a decade later, Minnesota law still does not fully reflect these decisions, a lack of recognition that harms parents and children across our state. 

For example, Minnesota law does not define clear pathways to parentage for families who use forms of assisted reproduction (like in vitro fertilization, or IVF) despite how common these practices have become in our state and our country.  

Additionally, Minnesota law lacks clear and comprehensive guidance related to surrogacy agreements and how to establish the parent-child relationship for children that results from these agreements. In fact, Minnesota law is currently silent on the issue of surrogacy altogether, meaning it does not specifically permit, prohibit, or otherwise regulate it. This forces many parents – such as married LGBTQ+ parents – to go through onerous “second parent adoption” processes to become legal parents to their own children. These processes are often lengthy, costly, and stressful for both parents and their children. 

Video of the House Floor session can be found on the House Info YouTube Page.