Substitute House Bill 1267, overhauling Washington's parentage laws, has been scheduled for a public hearing in the House General Government Appropriations and Oversight Committee next Tuesday.
You can find detailed information about HB 1267 on the legislature's website, but here are a couple of highlights that may interest you:
- HB 1267 would allow women to enter into a paid surrogacy contract, become pregnant through assisted reproduction, and give up their child for financial profit. Surrogacy contracts are binding in the sense that once a woman enters a contract, she can't decide to keep her child as her own. However, she would not need the consent of the intended parents to seek an abortion for any reason during the pregnancy.
- HB 1267 would change rules regarding presumptions of parentage. Currently, if a married woman gives birth to a child, her husband is legally presumed to be the father of that child. HB 1267 would extend this presumption to same-sex relationships, so that a child could be legally presumed to have a second mother, for example, if the mother is in a domestic partnership with another woman.
HB 1267 was previously considered by the Judiciary Committee, which recommended passage of a substitute (amended) bill. Because of the bill's financial impact for state government, it is being considered by a second committee (other than Rules), which specializes in fiscal matters, before possibly being considered by the full House of Representatives. HB 1267 is estimated to cost the state $80,920.
This public hearing is your chance to make your voice heard. In addition, you may contact your representatives by calling the legislative hotline: 1-800-562-6000. Here are the details regarding the hearing:
House General Government Appropriations and Oversight Committee
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
John L. O'Brien Building, House Hearing Room C
If you choose to attend a public hearing, please be sure to sign in regardless of whether you choose to testify. Doing so creates a record of your presence and your position on the bill. There is a place to mark on the sign-in sheet whether you wish to testify or not.