The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to host a free educational presentation and panel discussion covering New Jersey’s new streamlined confirmatory adoption law and other LGBTQ family planning concerns. The event will be held on Tuesday, February 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Hamilton Stage, located at 360 Hamilton Street in Rahway.

Seating is limited and preregistration is required online at ucnj.org/lgbtq.

Confirmatory adoption is the formal, legal process that establishes parental rights in a married couple, where one parent is not able to contribute genetic material or gestate the child. The new law is designed to provide relief for married couples that use assisted reproductive technology, including LGBTQ couples.

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“With the passage of Senator Scutari’s confirmatory adoption legislation, signed into law by the Governor last week, the Freeholder Board is proud to host this presentation and panel discussion to help increase awareness of the new streamlines second-parent adoption process and other legal protections for LGBTQ families,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

“At a time when states across the country are implementing laws that discriminate against LGBTQ families and deny them the protection of the law, here in New Jersey our state legislators are leading the country on a path toward equal protection for all,” Mirabella added. 

Organized by the Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs in partnership with the law firms Singer & Fedun, LLC and Guston & Guston, LLP, the presentation is designed to help LGBTQ individuals and allies learn more about family planning and the state of LGBTQ family protections in New Jersey.

“There is a general assumption that the 2015 marriage equality ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court solved the equality issues for LGBTQ people, but the reality is that a web of Federal and State law continues to enable discrimination,” said Freeholder Rebecca Williams, liaison to the Union County LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee. “Untangling those threads will be a process of public education and advocacy, and we hope that events like this one will help.”

The presentation highlights New Jersey’s new confirmatory adoption law and changes to the legal process for families seeking protection of parental rights where one parent does not contribute genetic material. Same-gender, different-gender and transgender couples are all covered.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with the panelists, including Danni Newbury, Coordinator of the Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs, Suzanne DiOrio, Special Deputy Surrogate for Union County, Bill Singer, Esq. of Singer & Fedun, and Debra E. Guston, Esq. of Guston & Guston

The presentation will also cover key life and family planning topics that directly affect the LGBTQ community, including building and protecting non-traditional family structures and the portability of parental rights.

Union County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, under the Department of Economic Development, was established by the Freeholder Board in 2018 and is the first and only county government office of its kind in the State of New Jersey.

The Office of LGBTQ Affairs provides a platform for leadership and collaboration to support equality, and serves as a catalyst for advocacy, awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.

For more information about the Office of LGBTQ Affairs, contact Danni Newbury, Coordinator, at 908-527-4742 or dnewbury@ucnj.org or visit ucnj.org/LGBTQ.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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