Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, December 31, 2012

Will We Have Three-Parent Families?

In California, some day a judge will have the power to decide who is your father, who is your mother, and who is your third parent. That won't happen this year because Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill passed by the California Legislature that would have permitted a judge to recognize more than two parents of a child. The judge said he needed "more time to consider all of the implications" of this change in our family structure.

People say that such legislation recognizing more than two parents of a child is probably inevitable because of the complicated childbearing situations that are taking place today. The case that motivated the bill that Brown vetoed was the case of a California girl named "M.C.". She had inspired California's Senator Mark Leno's so-called multiple-parent bill. He claims "the definition of family is evolving." The director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights said she is "very optimistic" about getting this bill approved next year. The Executive Director of the California Family Council warns that such a law would permit courts to overlook a child's biological ties in favor of someone else with a big bank account. A couple of law professors issued a plea for the rejection of this three-parent law. They said, "When it comes to parenting, three's a crowd.

The big problem is the breakdown of the family unit. Babies are increasingly being born outside of marriage, leading to legal battles over who is the baby's father. Same-sex couples are making babies with the eggs, sperm and wombs of unrelated persons who are usually separated from the baby's life. The sponsors of this three-parent bill say that judges should have the explicit authority to rule on "the best interest of the child," a terrible rule that gives the judge discretion to do whatever he wants.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

1 comment:

Roger said...

Minor correction: It was Gov. Brown who gave this veto message:

To the Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 1476 without my signature.

This bill would authorize a court under limited circumstances to find that a child has more than two legal parents if doing so would serve the best interest of the child.

I am sympathetic to the author's interest in protecting children. But I am troubled by the fact that some family law specialists believe the bill's ambiguities may have unintended consequences. I would like to take more time to consider all of the implications of this change.

Edmund G. Brown Jr.

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