STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1579
RE: H.B. No. 1096
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 1096, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PARENTAGE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the Department of Health to convene a task force to recommend amendments to the Hawaii Revised Statutes to update existing parentage laws that reflect outdated, cisheteronormative concepts of families, parenthood, and parental rights.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health, Rainbow Family 808, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai‘i, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, AF3IRM Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Women's Coalition, Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Women Lawyers, Ma‘i Movement Hawai‘i, and forty individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Adoption Circle of Hawai‘i.
Your Committee finds that existing parentage laws reflect outdated, cisheteronormative concepts of families, parenthood, and parental rights. Under existing law, only male partners of birthing people are afforded the option to volunteer themselves as the other legal parent and establish parenthood on a birth certificate. As a result, non-male LGBTQ+ parents are subject to a "queer parent penalty". That is, female, non-binary, and queer partners are forced to undergo extreme financial and emotional burdens to obtain an adoption decree for legal recognition as their child's parent. This measure convenes a working group to recommend amendments to the Hawaii Revised Statutes to update existing paternity laws to reflect modern concepts of family, parenthood, and parental rights.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1096, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair