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Same-sex partners and other unmarried couples would be able to adopt children together under a bill being considered by Colorado lawmakers.
The measure (House Bill 1330), released Tuesday, is sponsored by Democrats Alice Madden of Boulder, who is house majority leader, and Sen. Jennifer Veiga of Denver.
Under current Colorado law, individual gay parents may adopt but not same-sex couples. Married couples are allowed to adopt each other's children from previous relationships under stepparent adoption, said Pat Steadman, a lobbyist for Equal Rights Colorado, which is backing the bill.
The group promotes the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.
Gay parents would have been allowed to adopt as couples under Referendum I, which voters rejected last fall. The measure also would have allowed gay couples to file as domestic partners with the state.
The new bill would allow gay couples and any other two people who aren't married to adopt. For example, Steadman said, a grandparent who is raising a child may want another adult who is helping with the child's upbringing to also be named as a legal parent to take over in case the grandparent dies.
Steadman said most gay couples who would take advantage of the bill, if it passes, are already raising a child together, but only one is legally recognized as the parent, with legal rights to take the child to the doctor and consent to medical treatment.
If both partners are allowed to adopt a child, Steadman said, the child could qualify for health and life insurance from either partner if one dies.
"After all, two parents are better than one," he said. (AP)