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National Center for Lesbian Rights

Legislation & Policy

Children with More Than Two Parents

Status: Closed

Outcome: Victory

Location: California

Most children have at most two parents, but some children have more than two people in their lives who act as the child’s parent in every way. For example, a child raised from birth by a biological mother and a non-biological father may also have a relationship with his or her biological father. In such a situation, the child may consider both adults in the home, as well as his or her biological father, to be parents. In such a case, it may protect the child’s interests to have a legally protected relationship with all three of the parental figures in his or her life.

This legislation, which went into effect January 1, 2014, was the first to provide comprehensive protections for children with more than two parents, and provided a model for the Uniform Parentage Act of 2017 and a number of other states that later enacted similar legislation, including Maine and Washington.

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