SPRINGFIELD - While more attention has been focused this session on defining marriage, another bill is working its way through the legislature that would redefine parenting in Illinois. A revision to the Illinois Parentage Act, sponsored by State Rep Kelly Burke (D-Chicago), will change legal parental rights of adults who have children while they are not married. A section of HB 1243 reads:
"A woman is presumed to be the parent of a child if: (1) she and the birth mother of the child have entered into a marriage, civil union, or substantially similar legal relationship, and the child is born to the birth mother during the marriage, civil union, or substantially similar relationship."
"Bear in mind that we are not talking about children conceived through sperm or egg donation," said Family PAC/Eagle Forum lobbyist Sharee Langenstein, "It completely codifies the negative effects of same sex marriage with regard to parenting. Parenting is assigned according to policy, not recognized according to biology."
If a woman in a civil union gets pregnant, her same sex partner gets a legal presumption of parentage, Langenstein, an adoption attorney, said. In those cases, the children's father would have to sue the birth mother's same sex partner for parental rights. The Court then would determine who should be considered the child's legal parents. The Court is not prohibited from determining that the child could have three legal parents.
HB 1243 could come before the Illinois House as soon as Friday.