National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Legislation & Policy

upEND Movement

NCLR supports the upEND movement to end the current child welfare system and replace it with a system that focuses on keeping children safe with their families, rather than on separating and regulating families of color. The existing child welfare system disproportionately surveils and separates Black, Native, and LGBTQ families, as well as families whose members have disabilities, causing deep and lasting harm to children and families. Racism is so deeply rooted in child welfare systems’ history, policies, and practices that they are not easily modified or revised. Rather, the system as we know it has to be ended in order to ensure racial equity. The upEND movement was begun by the Center for the Study of Social Policy.


Legislation & Policy Advisory Committee

NCLR is a member of the Advisory Committee for Surrogacy360, which seeks to provide acurate information for intended parents seeking to use surrogacy internationally in an ethical manner. NCLR does not generally recommend that U.S. parents engage in surrogacy arrangements outside of the United States because of the danger that children born through surrogacy may not be recognized as U.S. citizens and encourages parents to consult with experienced surrogacy and immigration attorneys in the U.S. before considering surrogacy abroad.


Legislation & Policy


The FAMILY Act would establish a national paid leave insurance program. Specifically, it would provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of partial income to address their own serious health condition, including pregnancy or childbirth; to deal with the serious health condition of a parent, spouse, domestic partner or child; to care for a new child; and/or specific military care-giving and leave purposes.


Legislation & Policy

Uniform Parentage Act of 2017

The Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) is a uniform law that states may enact. There have been several versions of the UPA, but until 2017, it used gendered language and did not address same-sex parents directly. The UPA of 2017 fully protects both married and unmarried same-sex couples, and includes many important provisions protecting LGBTQ parents, including provisions addressing children with multiple parents, parents using at-home insemination, surrogacy, and comprehensive assisted reproduction protections. It also provides protections for low-income parents, including protections for parents using at-home insemination, and access to a free system to establish parental rights available at every hospital in states that adopt the UPA.

NCLR participated in the drafting committee for the UPA of 2017 as an Observer, advocating for full protections for LGBTQ parents, including low-income parents.

As of January 2020 the UPA of 2017 has been enacted in California, Vermont, and Washington, and legislation is pending in Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania.


Legislation & Policy

California Uniform Parentage Act

California law has long provided important protections for many LGBTQ parents, but many parents and their children were still excluded from protections. California adopted key portions of the Uniform Parentage Act of 2017, particularly those provisions protecting low-income families in AB 2684 (2018). Some provisions of this law went into effect in 2019. On January 1, 2020, provisions went into effect allowing parents of children using assisted reproduction to obtain a free document protecting their parental rights at any hospital after giving birth called a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage, and requiring gamete banks and clinics to allow gamete donors a process to agree to have their identity released to children conceived with their gametes at age 18.


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