Kids Can Now Have More Than 2 Legal Parents in Calif.

Gov. signs new bill allowing judges to recognize more parents

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 5, 2013 4:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – Heather can now have two mommies and a daddy ... at least in California, which has just signed a bill allowing kids to have more than two legal parents. The move is intended to recognize a broader range of family structures in legal cases, like those where a same-sex couple shares financial or custody responsibilities with a biological parent of the opposite sex, reports the LA Times. "Courts need the ability to recognize these changes so children are supported by the adults that play a central role in loving and caring for them," says Sen. Mark Leno, who authored the bill.

The bill was partially inspired after a 2011 case, in which a girl ended up in foster care after one of her mothers went to hospital and the other was incarcerated, but her biological father did not have any parental rights. Gov. Brown had opposed a similar bill last year, but has not commented on why he changed his mind and signed this one. However, this measure is narrower than the one he vetoed, the San Fransisco Chronicle points out, and will only allow a judge to recognize more than two parents when he or she finds that not doing so would be harmful to the child.

  (Shutterstock)
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