Despite major progress that Connecticut has made in recent years towards achieving marriage equality, there is still a large disparity in the legal treatment of Connecticut parents based on their sexual orientation. Many family law doctrines regarding parentage are entrenched in “traditional” heteronormative definitions of marriage and family, despite changes in the legal recognition of marriage. Furthermore, certain doctrines, such as the presumption of legitimacy, maintain the narrative of a child only belonging to one mother and one father in the context of a marriage. Understandings of what it means to be a family are shifting. In 2019, the adoption of the Uniform Parentage Act of 2017 was proposed in the Connecticut General Assembly. Unfortunately, the legislation died in committee. The Uniform Parentage Act would eliminate many barriers that same-sex parents face, such as replacing gendered statutory language such as “mother” or “father” with simply “parent.” The Act would also provide a regulatory structure through which definitions of parentage could be broadened to include functional and intentional parents within Connecticut’s statutory scheme. This Note argues that current constructions of parentage in society are far too limited and often do more harm to the child than good. Therefore, this Note advocates for the adoption of the Uniform Parentage Act of 2017 in Connecticut. Particularly, this Note outlines the benefits of expanding the legal definition of parent to include more modern realities of family formation such as those who were intended to be parents to a child and those who functioned as a parent in the child’s life. Furthermore, this Note was written with future Connecticut legislation in mind and therefore seeks to provide a broad overview of the history and legal doctrine of marriage as well as the practical implications of the Uniform Parentage Act of 2017.
Kalichman, Hannah, "For the Children: Intentional and Functional Approaches to Same-Sex Parentage in Connecticut" (2020). Connecticut Law Review. 442.