New California Law Allows for More than Two Legal Parents

Encinitas, CA – In an ever-changing society where roles are constantly reexamined and redefined, it was perhaps only a matter of time before the term “parent” took on more meanings.

In California, family law revolves around what’s termed “the best interest of the child.” According to legislation passed in 2014, a child may thrive if he or she has more than two people assuming a parental role, and thus regulations were changed to best suit the child’s needs.

happy family

This new law came about by a case where two women and one man all had possible parental status of a newborn baby. The birth mother only named herself on the birth certificate, thus preventing the biological father from having any parental rights to the child. The mother also had a female partner, whom she legally married, but they separated after the child was born.

The mother found a new boyfriend, who ended up stabbing the former female partner to the point that she had to be hospitalized. The mother wound up in jail, proclaimed an accessory to attempted murder. The birth father had no legal custody rights, and the child ended up in foster care. It was here that California courts realized the role of a parent isn’t always so clearly defined.

What the New Law Entails

Senate Bill 274 passed in California in 2014, explicitly states that in order to recognize the best interest of the child, sometimes more than two people should be recognized as legal parents.

In the case of adoption, however, the biological parents are no longer defined as parents, and will not have any duties or responsibilities to the child.

Section 3040 of California law was amended to establish an order of preference for whom should be considered a child’s parents for custodial purposes. These people are, in order:

  1. The biological parents, without regard to the parents’ gender
  2. The person with whom the child has been living in a healthy and stable environment
  3. Any other person who can provide adequate care to the child

Why It Matters

“In the end, we’re really just looking to make sure that the best interest of the child is at the forefront of custody cases,” says San Diego divorce attorney, John Griffith. “In modern times, the definition of ‘family’ is ever-changing, and we keep our clients up-to-date on legislation related to custodial rights.”

If you’re fighting for custodial rights, contact Griffith, Young and Lass for a free consultation today.

About Us: Griffith, Young, and Lass is an experienced family law firm serving the greater Carlsbad and San Diego areas. With professionalism and integrity, we can help you resolve your spousal support case in a timely manner.

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