California State Senator Jerry Hill has introduced a new piece of legislation that he claims will help children to better maintain relationships with their mother and father.  SB 115 will help protect a child’s relationship with their parents whether the child was conceived by artificial reproductive technology to unmarried parents who always intended to parent, who did in fact serve as parents, and never waived their parental rights.  However, one of the drawbacks is that the bill only protects the relationship between a child and their father when the father has assumed the role of his child’s father, acted as his child’s father, and helped to raise and care for his child, all being done with mother’s consent.

One of the major reasons for the introduction of SB 115 is that California’s family law code precludes men who use assisted reproductive technology from being considered the fathers of the children they helped conceive, absent a written agreement signed before conception.  The original provision was written two years ago by Senator Hill with the intent of protecting women who use donated sperm to get pregnant, but do not want the donors involved in their children’s lives.  It was also intended to protect sperm donors, who are often anonymous and do not want to be held liable for child support.  These important protections will remain intact under SB 115.

Basically, again, the stated intent of SB 115 is to clarify that the original law was never intended to deprive children of their fathers when their father always intended to parent, did in fact parent (with the child’s mother’s consent), and never waived their parental rights.