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California Bill Would Allow More Than Two Parents Per Child

Aired 7/30/12 on KPBS News.

A bill working its way through the California legislature would allow a child to have more than two legal parents.

A bill working its way through the California legislature would allow a child to have more than two legal parents.

Democratic Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco has authored legislation that he said recognizes non-traditional families, such as biological non-custodial fathers or surrogate mothers.

He said the bill doesn’t expand the definition of who can qualify as a parent, it just eliminates California’s limit of recognizing only two parents per child.

Leno said it would apply only when required to protect the best interests of the child.

“Number one, it won’t be used often but when it is it won’t be about a child having too many parents, it’s when a child has too few parents, and we want to make sure that child doesn’t find his or herself in our foster care system,” explained Leno.

Opponents argue that allowing multiple parents in one section of law could spark litigation in other sections.

The bill has passed the Senate on a party line vote and is now in the Assembly.

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