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A new D.C. law is making it a lot easier for a newborn to have two mommies from birth. According to the law, which went into effect on July 18, the District of Columbia will confer “the status of legal parent on both lesbian mothers who plan a child using donor insemination,” Nancy Polikoff reports.
In the past, the birth mother’s partner would have to go through an adoption process to become a legal parent of the child; now, the second mommy just needs to fill out some paperwork to demonstrate her “written consent” of parenthood. Polikoff notes that the new law is “marital status-neutral and gender-neutral,” so it will change parenthood policy in a couple of other situations as well:
* the law will confer legal parenthood on the unmarried male partners of women who have a child through artificial insemination;
* the law will confer legal parenthood on the registered domestic partners (male or female) of women who have a child not through artificial insemination;
* the law will assume that a semen donor is not a parent without a written agreement between he and the mother.
Who won’t this law help? Male partners of biological fathers who have a child through surrogacy. Surrogacy, Polikoff writes, is not currently legal in the District of Columbia.