The dynamic of the nuclear family has been changing ever since the phrase was coined in the middle of the last century. The idea of the American dream—2.4 kids and two cars in the garage—has been slowly been changing ever since divorce rates and economic crises have risen. We are in a freer time now, and with more and more states becoming more accepting of non-traditional families, it's time for the courts to look at laws governing the guardianship of the children in those families.
That's what California State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) proposed in a bill that would eliminate the rule stating only two people can be legally be considered the parents of any one child. He understood that these are new times that cause for a radical change in the way the court decides cases involving situations like these. The bill is sponsored by the Children’s Advocacy Institute and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).
"We live in a world today where courts face the diverse circumstances that have reshaped California families," said Leno in a statement. "This legislation gives courts the flexibility to protect the best interests of a child who is being supported financially and emotionally by those parents. It is critical that judges have the ability to recognize the roles of all parents, especially when a family is in distress and a child's security is a concern."
Well, it looks like Leno's work paid off, as California Governor Jerry Brown signed that bill into law on Oct. 4, 2013. California joins four other states, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia already recognize that more than two people can have the legal responsibility of parenting a child.
Governor Signs Bill Protecting Children Who Have More Than Two Legal Parents (Mark Leno)