October 9, 2013 By Paul Wallin

In efforts to ensure that children have a legal relationship with individuals that have been parental figures in their lives, the California State Legislature passed Senate Bill 274 (SB 274), which will allow children to have more than 2 legal parents. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Oct. 4.

The bill was prompted by a California Court decision in 2011, where a lesbian couple who were the legal parents of a child together ended their relationship after a domestic dispute which put one of them in the hospital and the other in jail. Their child was placed in foster care despite the biological father’s attempts to exercise his non-existent legal parental rights. Had SB 274 been signed into law at this time, the biological father may have been able to retain his parental rights along with the couple so that the court could have placed the child in the biological father’s care.

SB 274 creates some complex new legal issues regarding child custody and child support. You should seek out the experience of a Wallin & Klarich child custody attorney if you have a legal issue involving more than two people claiming parentage of a child.

Children Can Have More than 2 Legal Parents

more than 2 legal parents
A new law passed in California makes it legal for children to have more than 2 legal parents.

SB 274 amends California Family Code 7612 to state that a court may find that more than two persons who claim parentage are legal parents. To do so, the court must find that recognizing only two parents would be detrimental to the child.

One of the purposes of this bill is to ensure that children are provided for financially. Under California Family Code 7613, a sperm donor who donates sperm through a licensed physician to a woman who is not his wife is treated in law as if he were not the natural father of the child. SB 274 will not change this family code so sperm donors do not have to worry that they will be responsible for child support if they go through the appropriate channels of Family Code 7613.

SB 274 preserves the biological parent relationship if the sperm donor and the legal parents agree to do so, so that the child could potentially have more than two legal parents. In this type of situation, the biological father would be obligated to support the child financially. Further, if something happens to two of the parents, the courts will be able to keep the child out of foster care if the third parent wants to exercise his or her parental rights.

Issues of child custody and child support can be very complex matters, especially with these new changes to the California Family Code. Thus, it is very important that you seek out the assistance of an experienced child custody attorney.

How the Child Custody Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Can Help

Whether you are a biological or a legal parent who would like to assert your parental rights, you should rely on the experience of our child custody attorneys. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling child custody and child support cases. We possess the knowledge of the law and attention to detail to help you to obtain the most favorable result possible in your case.

With offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, West Covina, Victorville and Ventura, we are always available, wherever you happen to live.

Call us today at (888) 749-7428. We will be there when you call.

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