Recognizing All Families and Ensuring the Well Being of Children

Bill Title: Family Law – Parentage and Adoption

Bill Number(s): SB0697 and HB0519

Bill Sponsor(s): Senator William C. Smith, Jr. (D-20, Montgomery County) and Delegate Kathleen M. Dumais (D-15, Montgomery County)

Position: Support

Legislative History: Passed enrolled

What will this bill do?

The bill would eliminate complex procedures and technicalities to simplify the process of unifying and recognizing families and ensuring children’s safety.

First, it would make the process of second parent adoption less financially burdensome, reducing financial strain for parents to meet children’s other needs. Second, it would protect the parent‐child relationship, ensuring children have access to support, inheritance, and benefits. It would also secure rights for families and parents of all genders, ensuring the family relationship of LGBTQ+ parents and their children in Maryland is legally recognized in all states.

Why is this bill needed?

For the children of LGBTQ+ and other diverse families, formal recognition that your parent is your “legal” parent is a lengthy, at times invasive, and expensive process. Families must currently invest substantial amounts of time, resources, and know‐how to have the legal system confirm what they already know: they are a family. Formal recognition of a parent’s “legal parentage” protects all aspects of a parent‐child relationship such as ensuring that their child will be able to access that parent’s health insurance, Social Security, and other benefits as the parent’s beneficiary; whether the child will inherit after their parent’s death; or whether the parent’s relationship with their child will be legally recognized in states other than Maryland.

Fixing adoption and parentage provisions through this Act is the right thing to do to support thousands of children and families. According to an analysis of 2010 census data, an estimated 12,500 same‐sex couples live in Maryland, and roughly 20% of these couples have children. Updating these codes secures full recognition for all Maryland families.

House of Delegates Judiciary Committee // HB 0519

Member Email Address Phone Number
Luke H. Clippinger (Chair) luke.clippinger@house.state.md.us 410-841-3488 | 301-858-3488
Vanessa E. Atterbeary (Vice Chair) vanessa.atterbeary@house.state.md.us 410-841-3471 | 301-858-3471
Curtis S. (Curt) Anderson curt.anderson@house.state.md.us 410-323-4324
Lauren R. Arikan lauren.arikan@house.state.md.us 410-841-3334 | 301-858-3334
J. Sandy Bartlett sandy.bartlett@house.state.md.us 410-841-3370 | 301-858-3370
Jon S. Cardin jon.cardin@house.state.md.us 410-841-3054 | 301-858-3054
Frank M. Conaway, Jr. frank.conaway@house.state.md.us 410-841-3189
Daniel L. Cox dan.cox@house.state.md.us 410-841-3288 | 301-858-3288
Charlotte Crutchfield charlotte.crutchfield@house.state.md.us 410-841-3485 | 301-858-3485
Debra M. Davis debra.davis@house.state.md.us 410-841-3337 | 301-858-3337
Wanika B. Fisher wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us 410-841-3340 | 301-858-3340
Robin L. Grammer, Jr. Robin.Grammer@house.state.md.us 410-841-3298 | 301-858-3298
Wayne A. Hartman wayne.hartman@house.state.md.us 410-841-3356 | 301-858-3356
Jazz M. Lewis jazz.lewis@house.state.md.us 410-841-3691 | 301-858-3691
Lesley J. Lopez lesley.lopez@house.state.md.us 410-841-3021 | 301-858-3021
Michael E. Malone michael.malone@house.state.md.us 410-841-3510 | 301-858-3510
Susan K. McComas susan.mccomas@house.state.md.us 410-836-9449
David Moon david.moon@house.state.md.us 410-841-3474 | 301-858-3474
Jesse T. Pippy jesse.pippy@house.state.md.us 410-841-3118 | 301-858-3118
Emily K. Shetty emily.shetty@house.state.md.us 410-841-3181 | 301-858-3181
Charles E. Sydnor III charles.sydnor@house.state.md.us 410-841-3802 | 301-858-3802
Ronald L. Watson ron.watson@house.state.md.us 410-841-3448 | 301-858-3448

 Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee // SB 0697

Member Email Address Phone Number
Robert A. Zirkin bobby.zirkin@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3131 or 301-858-3131
William C. Smith, Jr. will.smith@senate.state.md.us 301-858-3634 or 410-841-3634
Jill P. Carter jill.carter@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3697 or 301-858-3697
Robert G. Cassilly bob.cassilly@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3158 or 301-858-3158
Katie Fry Hester katie.hester@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3671 or 301-858-3671
Michael J. Hough michael.hough@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3704 or 301-858-3704
Susan C. Lee susan.lee@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3124 or 301-858-3124
Justin D. Ready justin.ready@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3683 or 301-858-3683
Jeffrey D. Waldstreicher jeffrey.waldstreicher@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3137 or 301-858-3137
Mary L. Washington mary.washington@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3145 or 301-858-3145
Christopher R. West chris.west@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3648 or 301-858-3648

 Sample script:

My name is _____________ and I live in ___________. I am calling/emailing in support of SB0697/HB0519. The bill would eliminate complex procedures and technicalities to simplify the process of unifying and recognizing families and ensuring children’s safety. Formal recognition of a parent’s “legal parentage” protects all aspects of a parent‐child relationship such as ensuring that their child will be able to access that parent’s health insurance, Social Security, and other benefits as the parent’s beneficiary; whether the child will inherit after their parent’s death; or whether the parent’s relationship with their child will be legally recognized in states other than Maryland.