The SB 1476 (Leno) Bill proposed in California offers the chance of radical social engineering and reform. The modifications sought in Family law and proposed by Senator Mark Leno wants the statute to establish that a child may legally have more than two parents – thus altering prevailing notions of a family. Leno told the Sacramento Bee “The bill brings California into the 21st century.” But critics warn the law which would be equally applicable to heterosexual and homosexual relationships could bring into existence “radical new families.”
Leno says, “Most children have at most two parents, but some children have more than two people in their lives who have been a child’s parent in every way.” And according to him confining parenthood only to two persons neglects the emotions and contributions of other persons who, in a modern world, should also be held in equal status with parents.
SB 1476 (Leno) says, “The Uniform Parentage Act defines the parent and child relationship as the legal relationship existing between a child and the child’s parents, including the mother and child relationship and the father and child relationship, and governs proceedings to establish that relationship.”
This bill would provide that a child may have a parent and child relationship with more than 2 parents.”
The bill further proposes that “This bill would, in the case of a child with more than 2 legal parents, require the court to allocate custody and visitation among the parents based on the best interest of the child, including stability for the child.”
However, not everybody is happy with the new two-and-more parent family concept and hold that parenthood in a family as a social unit is not amenable to “the more the merrier” concept. Glenn Stanton, a spokesperson for nonprofit Focus on the Family, told the media, “We hear all this celebratory talk about ‘new families,’ but there is no sociological, psychological or medical data showing any of these new family forms have served to the elevate the general physical, mental, educational or developmental well-being of children in any meaningful way.”
There is always opposition to change – but modern life also includes concepts and practices like surrogate mothers where a woman who undergoes the biological and hormonal changes of giving birth to a child is seceded from the child with only monetary compensation. Also the necessity of giving children away in adoption (due to circumstances) need not bring along the pains of separation if Leno’s proposal went through.
It would be interesting to watch how the legislative assembly reacts.