The Modern Families ActA bill in the state of California to legislate for new modern families has passed its first stage.
The bill proposed by San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, (Democrat and well known LGBT rights activist) is seeking to require sperm donors, sperm recipients, surrogates and those using surrogates to make detailed prior arrangements in regard to any children and their respective parental rights and responsibilities.
The bill seeks to apply to both same-sex and heterosexual couples.
The bill could equally be called the "Jason Patric Act" – after the actor who is still seeking parental rights to a child born to his ex-girlfriend through IVF treatment using his sperm.
The bill states that the people involved should use a series of questionnaires or forms to make detailed prior arrangements, before any child is even conceived. We assume the sort of matters detailed would include – residence, pre-school, sharing arrangements (if applicable), visiting, holidays, religion, healthcare, future education etc. – basically everything that “conventional” couples would discuss and agree (or disagree) over time.
This extreme forward planning actually makes perfect sense – it avoids any domestic misunderstandings, or worse, messy and protracted legal disputes.
Mr Ammiano stated - "The science behind having families has advanced more quickly than the laws," Ammiano said. "This bill is just an attempt to catch up with the realities and help these couples enjoy their modern families."
Mr Ammiano has a long career in California politics – in 1975 he became the first public school teacher to make his sexual orientation a matter of public knowledge. Between 1977-78 he, along with fellow activists Hank Wilson and Harvey Milk successfully fought the ban on gay people teaching in schools.