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2017 Uniform Parentage Act: How PK VP, Diane Potts, Assisted in Making Fundamental Changes to Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity to Same-Sex Couples

These necessary changes protect both parents and children from needless separation and time in court  

The significant updates to the Uniform Parentage Act, resulting in the 2017 Uniform Parentage Act (UPA 2017), were put in motion after the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges. It came from the conversation of how fundamental changes need to be made to ensure this legislation complies with federal law, especially pertaining to LGBTQ families.  

Diane Potts, Vice President of Child Support and Workforce Services at Public Knowledge®, played a significant role in the drafting of UPA 2017. 

Two men with their child

Diane and Patience (Polly) Crozier, Senior Staff Attorney with the GLAD’s LGBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, were interviewed on the NCSEA On Location podcast. They both shared their valuable perspectives on the positive impact of UPA 2017. 

As an observer of the legislation project, Polly shared how she thought the drafting process was thoughtful with a lot of stakeholder input. 

The Importance of Securing Parentage 

According to Diane, there are many benefits to UPA 2017, including how child support can now extend voluntary acknowledgment to same-sex couples, so the second parent doesn’t have to go through the expensive, time-consuming adoption process to solidify their relationship with their child. 

Polly also shared that the clarity UPA 2017 provides in statutes means parents can sign the voluntary acknowledgment paternity document the day the child is born in the hospital to secure their parentage. 

Bringing Parentage to the 21st Century  

There has been a great success in the adoption of UPA 2017. The state of Washington was the first to enact, followed by California, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine. Connecticut recently passed the legislation in June 2021, and it is currently filed in Massachusetts, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.  

Polly shared how she thinks more states will follow due to the protection it provides to children and the clarity it brings.  

Listen to the Podcast or Read Our Idea Post  

Diane and Polly discuss the critical aspects of UPA 2017, the variety of paths to parentage, and just how significant this legislation is for children, parents, and the child support system. Click the buttons below to read our idea post for more details or listen to the podcast.  

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