According to a recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times, there is a bill heading to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk that would allow California family law courts to determine that a child has more than two legal parents.  The law has been proposed due to the fact that family law has become even more complicated as family situations have changed.

Currently, California only allows for two partners, whether they’re a child’s biological or adoptive parents, to be legally considered that child’s parents.  Democrat Mark Leno, a State Senator from San Francisco, who introduced the bill, was spurred on by a case where a lesbian couple split up, and one of the partners subsequently broke from the relationship, turned heterosexual and was impregnated by a man.  She then returned to her former female partner but the two fought – one ending up in the hospital, the other in jail.  The daughter ended up in foster care because her biological father had no parental rights.

During the political process in California, Republicans shunned the bill, yet, it passed in both houses after attracting sufficient support from Democrats.  Opponents argue that the bill would have implications going well beyond family law courts, adding costly wrinkles in cases involving things such as citizenship, tax deductions, probate, and other matters people litigate over.  Supporters of the bill believe it would help the law to keep up with the changing landscape of a family’s nuclear foundation.

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