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Kids Could Have More than Two Parents Under California Bill

Posted Jul 16, 2012 7:26 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A bill that has passed the California Senate would allow judges to recognize more than two parents for children.

The bill could be considered by the state’s assembly by next month, the New York Times reports. The legislation permits a judge to recognize additional parents after a finding it is in the child’s best interests.

The bill was introduced after a California appeals court held last year that a child can have only two parents. The court ruled in the case of a girl who was put in foster care after one of her lesbian mothers ended up in the hospital and the other was sent to jail. The father, who had maintained a relationship with the child, had sought to have the girl released to his custody.

Two other jurisdictions—Delaware and Washington, D.C.—have passed laws allowing for third “de facto parents” with the same rights and responsibilities as adoptive parents, the story says. In at least six other states, courts have recognized three legal parents.

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