California lawmakers are considering an unconventional new parenting law that would allow children to be granted more than two parents.
State Sen. Mark Leno proposed the bill, which has passed the state Senate and awaits an Assembly vote.
Leno said the American family is evolving and should now include surrogacy arrangements, same-sex marriages, and reproductive techniques that involve multiple individuals.
"Most children have at most two parents, but some children have more than two people in their lives who have been a child's parent in every way," Leno wrote in the fact sheet for the bill, SB1476.
"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," he explains. "In such a situation, the child may consider both adults in the home to be parents, as well as his or her biological father."
"In such a case, it may be in the child's best interests to have a legally protected relationship with all three of the parental figures in his or her life," he added.
Parents would have to legally qualify for parental rights and agree on custody, visitation, and child support before a judge could divide up responsibilities.
Several other states, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the District of Columbia recognize more than two parents.