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New California Law Allows Children To Have More Than Two Parents

Jan 3, 2014

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Children in California can now have more than two legal parents.

A new law allows judges to grant additional parental rights if they find that recognizing only two parents would be detrimental to a child.

Attorney Andrew Cain is with Legal Advocates for Children and Youth. He says the law will only be applied in limited circumstances.

Cain:  “It’s really for those cases where there’s another person out there who the child sees as his or her parent who is willing to step up and take on those obligations and take on those responsibilities. And now the court will have the ability to truly do what’s in the best interest of the child.”

Critics of the law say it will cause chaos in the lives of children and confusion in child custody and support cases.

Cain says the law will be used in limited circumstances. But critics contend it will cause confusion in custody and child support cases and could be destabilizing to children.