Law lets children have more than 2 parents

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation allowing children to have more than two parents.

Last year, Brown vetoed a similar proposal, citing the potential for unintended consequences.

The new law authorizes a court to recognize more than two parents if endorsing fewer would be “detrimental” to the child. The bill that Brown vetoed last year would have provided judges the authority to identify multiple parents if doing so was “required in the best interest of the child.”

State Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, noted that his measure applies only to families with more than two people who meet the state’s definition of a parent. It does not apply to stepparents, grandparents, girlfriends or caretakers. In an interview, Leno said he expected the law to be used sparingly, such as when a child could be at risk of unnecessarily entering the foster care system.

“The bill in its essence merely allows for greater judicial discretion,” Leno said. “It’s really about the child and in the best interest of the child.”

Last year’s version of the bill attracted attention after some critics argued it would make it possible for children to have six or even eight parents. Supporters countered that the proposal was intended when a child is at risk of having too few parents.

Leno’s measure grew out of an appellate court case involving a biological mother, her same-sex partner and a man who had an affair with the mother while she was temporarily separated from her female lover. In the 2011 case, the California Court of Appeal held that courts could not recognize more than two parents even if doing so would protect the child from harm.

Four other states and the District of Columbia have also recognized more than two parents.

More in Local News

Army nurse from Everett has vivid memories of ‘forgotten war’

Barbara Jean Nichols, 95, served near the front lines in Korea and Vietnam, and in Germany.

In county overdose crisis, nasal spray has saved 100 lives

About 900 local law enforcement officers have been trained to use naloxone to revive opioid users.

Second former student files abuse claim against teacher

The woman says Cascade High School’s Craig Verver had sexual contact with her on campus.

Man arrested after allegedly threatening people near EvCC

The community college was briefly on lockdown Thursday morning.

Edmonds to add bike lanes in two areas

Crews will begin the first phase of work Thursday and Friday, weather permitting.

Woman fatally shot at home near Everett

Another woman and three children, who were also in the home, were not injured.

Woman injured after losing control of her pickup

A 50-year-old woman was injured Tuesday after her pickup lost… Continue reading

Freshwater invertebrates found in local water bodies

Bryozoans are tiny invertebrates that live in jelly-like masses, and their presence is a good thing.

Front Porch

EVENTS Sk8 Fest returns to Arlington The Centennial Sk8 Festival celebrating longboards… Continue reading

Most Read