New CA Law Would Let Kids Have More Than 2 Parents
Posted by The Baby News
A new bill pending approval in California could make "My Two Daddies" seem obsolete. The bill, which recently passed the Califoria State senate and is awaiting a vote by the assembly, would make it legal to give a child multiple parents.
State senator Mark Leno, who introduced the bill, cites says new methods of assisted reproduction, including surrogacy, as well as changing family structures, mean that for some children, having multiple parents not only reflects their realities but also could protect them.
The law applies equally to heterosexual and homosexual adults. Leno said a mishap last year inspired him to propose the it. Two women were parents to one little girl. One mother was hospitalized. The biological mother was serving a jail sentence. The biological father was able and willing to care for his child. But like most states, California only allows two adults to be designated parents for one child. So the little girl was sent to foster care
Leno said today's family is constantly evolving. A grandparent, stepdad, aunt or godparent may be as much a loving caregiver to a child as any biological mom or dad. And biological parents including surrogates, and sperm and egg donors, who may be involved in a child's life are not considered parents and are therefore shut out when the legal parents are unable to care for a child.
"The bill brings California into the 21st century, recognizing that there are more than Ozzie and Harriet families today," Leno told the Sacramento Bee.
The bill was approved by the state senate. Now, the assembly must vote on it.
The Children's Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego law school champions the bill. Institute advocates insist Leno's bill does not change California's definition of what a parent's responsibilities are. They say the same legal standards for mental and moral competency in place would apply to parents under Leno's law. A judge would still have the power to decide custody, visitation and child support.
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maine and the District of Columbia recognize more than two parents per child.
Some conservative religious groups object that the bill proposed by Leno will radicalize the definition of family. Radio host Rush Limbaugh greeted news of the bill by announcing he had predicted it.
Leno replied that the law would serve adoptive families well when a child is deeply attached to his step-parents and adoptive parents.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said the bill would make polygamy legal so liberals could marry multiple partners at the same time.
"So now a California bill would allow a child to have multiple parents," said Limbaugh, who was married and divorced three times. "Can you have a marriage of four people? What if someone wants to marry his dog? Where will it end?"
Do you think a child's best interests are served by the law or harmed by it?
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