Sanchez, Miller bill modernizing and securing parental rights passes the House

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Ben Sanchez’s and Rep. Dan Miller’s bill to update the Uniform Parentage Act, which would provide clarifying language on parental rights in instances of assisted reproduction, passed the House today.

House Bill 350 provides necessary legal framework on establishing parentage, specifically for families who require assisted reproductive services, like surrogacy, to have children. Sanchez noted that these families have no clear path to establish a secure legal tie to their children under Pennsylvania’s current laws. H.B. 350 seeks to rectify this by ensuring equal protections and full rights for all children and their parents, regardless of the circumstances of their birth. The bill would also provide robust protections for all parties involved in surrogacy agreements, including children, parents, and women acting as surrogates.

“Children need a secure and legal parent-child relationship for so many aspects of their overall well-being and their stability in life,” Sanchez, D-Montgomery, said. “This relationship is essential for medical insurance coverage, decision making regarding medical care and education, financial support, and custody and visitation time if the parents separate. If a couple utilizes assisted reproduction to have children, these core fundamentals of parenthood should not be revoked. Thank you to my colleagues for their support on this important legislation and thank you to the Uniform Law Commission for their guidance on drafting the bill.”

“H.B. 350 is a much needed, commonsense reform that will update our parentage laws by providing uniform clarity, while recognizing what thousands of PA families already know ­-- that families come in every size and shape imaginable, and our laws must provide security for them all,” said Miller, D-Allegheny, and majority whip. “I want to thank my colleagues for their support of this bill, and for helping provide clarity and reassurance to thousands of families across our commonwealth.”

The Uniform Parentage Act, which is product of a non-partisan deliberative process, was originally promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission in 1973. While it has been revised several times since its enactment, H.B. 350 would be the most recent change to the law in the last seven years.

H.B. 350 now awaits consideration in the Senate.