A bill that would bring California into the 21st century, according to its sponsor, has passed the State Senate and is now awaiting a vote in the State Assembly. SB1476 sponsored by Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would allow children to be legally given more than two parents.
Senator Leno states that his bill would bring California into the 21st century by acknowledging that complicated family situations exist. “There are more than Ozzie and Harriet families today,” he says. Senator Leno said he realized the current system had a problem last year when he read about a court placing a girl in foster care after her legally married lesbian parents were unable to care for her. When one mother was placed into prison and the other mother was hospitalized, the court was not allowed to appoint the girl’s biological father as a legal parent, even though he had a relationship with his daughter.
Leno’s law would require that all parents qualify under all legal standards and agree on custody, visitation and child support before a judge could divide up responsibilities. Three other states, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maine and the District of Columbia, already have laws on the books recognizing more than two parents.
Not all are happy with this proposed bill. Glen T. Stanton, Focus on the Family member, feels the bill appears to advocate for children, but is actually a tool to allow adults to create what he calls “Radical Families.” He states that “this bill will only take us farther down the trail of more ‘experimental families’ and says that children are best cared for by one mother and one father.
Whether this type of legislation will be sponsored in Arizona and other states in the near future, only time will tell.