The bill doesn’t change the strict requirements for legal parenthood, it merely removes the two-parent-per-child cap. As the Sacramento Bee explains, “Under current law, a parent can be a man who signs a voluntary declaration of paternity, for example. It also can be a man who was married and living with a child’s mother, or who took a baby into his home and represented the infant as his own.”
It’s important to note that the measure only applies in cases where broadening the scope of parenthood is “required to protect the best interest of the child,” according to Leno.
The proposal was inspired by a case where a girl’s two mothers became incapable of caring for her and the biological father stepped up to take custody — but because of the two-parent limit, the court put the girl in state custody.
Leno’s bill, which has passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly, would apply equally to men or women, and to straight or gay couples.
Examples of three-parent relationships that could be affected by SB 1476 include:
• A family in which a man began dating a woman while she was pregnant, then raised that child with her for seven years. The youth also had a parental relationship with the biological father.
• A divorce in which a woman and her second husband were the legal parents of a child, but the biological father maintained close ties as well.
Designating multiple parents in such cases could enhance the child’s prospects for financial support, health insurance or Social Security benefits, thus reducing the state’s potential financial responsibility.
Most importantly, as I have seen with my nephew’s family, it can enhance the child’s chances of having a loving, stable relationship with several adults. What lucky children, to have three involved parents! Isn’t our children’s happiness what all we parents want?
The definition of “family” has expanded from the nuclear family of Ozzie and Harriet to include same-sex parents and kids, grandparents raising kids, three or four adults raising children, and stepparents raising two sets of children, to name just a few.
For right-wingers to object to Leno’s measure because it might destroy families is absurd: these “non-nuclear” families already exist. This is the 21st century. Can we please move forward?
What do you think about the 3-parent family?
Photo Credit: -sim-
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