By: Reanna Perez, CA DCSS
The California Department of Child Support Services (CA DCSS) Child Support Services Division (CSSD) recently spearheaded identifying program changes to comply with new provisions required in the 2018 Uniform Parentage Act (UPA).
The UPA allows unmarried female same-sex couples who have children using assisted reproductive technology, except those who utilize surrogacy, to establish parental relationship protection using a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage (VDOP). To meet the January 1, 2020 implementation date, a workgroup of subject matter experts was created to identify all impacted program areas requiring changes including policies, procedures, forms, publications, training needs, reports, database and system changes.
More than 400 changes were identified that need to be completed. Some of the identified changes include:
• Changing references from “paternity” to “parentage”
• Changing references from “mother” to “birth parent”
• Changing references from “father” to “other parent”
• Changing gender pronouns (he/she, his/her, etc.) to make them gender neutral. This is pursuant to the Gender Recognition Act in SB 179.
What has been known as the Paternity Opportunity Program (POP) will change to the Parentage Opportunity Program as of January 1, 2020, along with a new logo. The teams have begun updating many of the department forms and publications to reflect the mandated changes. Authorized witnessing agencies and LCSAs will be able to order the new DCSS 0909 (tentatively estimated to be ready mid-September) using form DCSS 0596, DCSS Forms and Publication Order. In addition, POP anticipates sending out packages of new DCSS 0909 forms to all authorized witnessing agencies. Other POP forms will be available on the public website and all DCSS forms will be updated in CSE for auto population by January 1, 2020.
“Implementing (these changes) results in significant impacts to CA DCSS and the LCSAs,” said POP Program Manager Kyla Kuryllo. “I appreciate the various business areas coming together to share their subject matter expertise and collaborate with the common goal of successful implementation by 1/1/20.”
Stay tuned for more POP, forms, and publication updates.