BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts may have been the first in the nation to legalize gay marriage, but the state still falls behind when it comes to parentage.

22News learned what a bill on Beacon Hill would do to protect parental rights.

To kick off Pride Month, there was a rally at the State House to call on the legislature to pass the Massachusetts Parentage Act. There are many paths to parenthood, and advocates of the bill believe Massachusetts has not stayed up to date.

Parentage is the legal parent-child relationship. This bill would update language and fill in the gaps in current law to recognize children born through assisted reproduction, surrogacy, and to same-gender parents.

As the law stands now, some children have to wait six months or longer to establish their parent-child relationship. Current law disproportionately affects same-gender couples, as they do not have the same protections as heterosexual couples do in the rest of the country.

Currently, same-gender married couples still need to undergo an adoption process to fully secure parentage.

“When your parental rights are not secure, and your legal parentage rights are not secure, it leaves the parents feeling very vulnerable, but of course also the children feeling really vulnerable,” said Kate LeBlanc, Executive Director of Resolve New England.

Every New England state except Massachusetts has an updated parentage law. Every New England state except Massachusetts has an updated parentage law.

The legislative session ends on July 31st.