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There are thousands of children being raised by non-biological parents, and they deserve to be treated fairly. Yesterday, a California appeals court ruled that these families are protected under California law.

A case called E.C. v. J.V. recognized the rights of a non-biological mother who had raised a child with her same-sex partner for five years. The court rightly said that what matters is the relationship that the child and the parent have with each other, even if they aren’t biologically related. The court also said that parental rights should not be based on the parent’s sexual orientation, marital status, or gender.

The ruling in this case strengthens and reinforces California’s protections for children with non-biological parents—it gives courts more direction about how to apply this law to same-sex parents, and helps courts, attorneys, and families learn about the these protections.

Here at NCLR, we know that it doesn’t matter to a child whether her parent is biologically related to her – what matters is the love and care that child receives from her parent. California law recognizes that families can be formed in many different ways, and the law must protect the reality of their lives.

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