Parentage Bill (SB 1476) Passes Assembly

SB 1476 (Leno) passed through the Assembly and is now awaiting approval by the State Senate. SB 1476, which would amend and add to the Family Code, would permit a court, in appropriate cases, to find that a child has more than two legal parents.

Current law allows a child to have only two legal parents. SB 1476 would allow a court to determine that a child has more than two natural or adoptive parents if it is "required to serve the best interests of the child." The court, in determining the best interests of the child, looks to the nature, duration, and quality of the presumed parents' relationship with the child, and the benefit or detriment to the child of continuing those relationships. If the child has more than two legal parents, not all parents are required to share legal or physical custody of that child.

The determination that a child has more than two parents has potential ramifications for school districts as well. Obviously districts are required with certain parental notification and participation requirements, from notifying parents of IEP meetings, to school choice, to providing student records. Involving more than two parents in this process is something that may come about if SB 1476 is chaptered into law. Currently, Education Code section 51101 discussed parental rights relating to their child's education.

More information about SB 1476 can be accessed here.