So how many parents does it take to raise a child in California?  Apparently it could take more than two.  At least that’s if you believe what the California Assembly has to say.  For in their eternal wisdom, the Golden State’s lawmakers have passed new legislation that would enable California to become the fifth state to allow judges to declare a child has more than two legal parents.

SB274 says that a judge could legally recognize additional parents if failure to do so would be detrimental to the child.  The bill was sponsored by Democratic state Senator Mark Leno.

Currently, state law allows courts to acknowledge only two people as parents.  Supporters of the bill say that the statute does not give judges any leeway to exercise their own judgment based on a child’s situation.

Leno’s bill was prompted by a 2011 court case involving a California girl whose legal parent could not care for her and whose biological father was deemed not a parent.  In that case, the child ended up in state custody because her birth mother became incarcerated and her other legal parent was hospitalized.

Supporters of the bill, that was passed 43 to 27, also say that having additional parenting options gives a child suffering from such parenting difficulties a better chance to finally settle down into a stable family environment.  Supporters have acknowledged concerns about state sponsored child care systems in general, and the traumatic upbringing the system brings to most of the children who are processed through it.