Spin Control

WA Lege Day 93: Domestic partner surrogacy bill passes Senate

Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokanke, discusses an amendment with Senate Minority Floor Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, during debate on a bill involving domestic partnerships and surrogacy laws on April 12, 2011. Senate Majority Floor Leader Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, is in the background. (Jim Camden/The Spokesman-Review)
Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokanke, discusses an amendment with Senate Minority Floor Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, during debate on a bill involving domestic partnerships and surrogacy laws on April 12, 2011. Senate Majority Floor Leader Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, is in the background. (Jim Camden/The Spokesman-Review)

Sen. Lisa Brown discusses an amendment with Sen. Mark Schoesler during debate on the domestic partnership surrogacy bill.

OLYMPIA – A proposal to make clear who has legal custody for a children in a domestic partnership cleared a sharply divided Senate Tuesday, but a provision to allow parents to pay a surrogate mother did not.
Supporters said state law needs to recognize a greater variety of family structures exist now than a generation ago.
“Ozzie and Harriet don’t live here any more,” Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, said. “That’s a make-believe world.”
Opponents said domestic partners could go to court and use existing laws to adopt children if they aren’t the biological parent. “If there is a relationship involved, let those persons solve it in a legal way,” Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, said.
 

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog

n its current form, HB 1267 says a person in a domestic partnership is presumed to be the parent of a child born to his or her partner. Both partners are presumed to be parents if one of them conceives a child with a surrogate mother. An adult who is present from birth through age 2 in the same home, and has “openly held out the child as his or her own” is also presumed to be the parent.
“There’s nothing magic about zero to age 2…that’s not the only thing that makes you a father,” Sen. Cheryl Pflug, R-Maple Valley, argued.
Maybe not magical, but anyone who’s been through that period with a child deserves consideration, countered Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane. “If you’re not a biological parent, you’re certainly an emotional parent.”
An earlier version of the bill allowed couples seeking a surrogate to pay the surrogate mother, something currently illegal in Washington but legal in other states like Oregon and California. The amended version that passed the Senate Tuesday, however, stripped out that provision.
“It’s illegal to sell organs,” Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam. Paying surrogate mothers could lead to problems with that system just as paying for sex leads to prostitution, he said.
The bill does have some protections for surrogate mothers. They most be at least 21, had a previous pregnancy and undergo a mental health review.
But the issue of paying for surrogacy will come back, Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, said because of the growing number of relationships that make up the modern family.
“This is the best we’re able to do” this year, Pridemore said.
After more than an hour of debate, HB 1267 passed on a 27-21 vote and was sent back to the House, which must agree to the amendments approved Tuesday.




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Spin Control
Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

Follow Jim online:







Close

Sections


Profile

Close

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801