California lawmakers could soon pass a parenting law that would open the door to having three or more parents.
Introduced by State Sen. Mark Leno, SB1476 would authorize a court to find that a child has two presumed parents notwithstanding the statutory presumption of parentage of the child by another man.
The bill would authorize the court to make this finding if doing so would serve the best interest of the child based on the nature, duration and quality of the presumed or claimed parents' relationships with the child and the benefit or detriment to the child of continuing those relationships.
"Most children have at most two parents, but some children have more than two people in their lives who have been a child's parent in every way," Leno wrote in the fact sheet for the bill.
"For example, a child raised from birth by a biological mother and a non-biological father may also have a relationship with his or her biological father," he wrote. "In such a situation, the child may consider both adults in the home to be parents, as well as his or her biological father."
"In such a case, it may be in the child's best interests to have a legally protected relationship with all three of the parental figures in his or her life," he added.
Even if the law is passed, parents still have to follow guidelines in order to win parental rights, then agree on issues ranging from child support to visitation and custody.
California would not be the first to adopt this type of legislation. Delaware, Pennsylvania and the District of Colombia law currently recognizes more than two parents.