Family Law Unraveled
The latest from Margaret's blog
And Baby Makes Four
Friday, November 01, 2013
It happened quietly. Without much fanfare on the left or handwringing on the right. On October 4, Governor Jerry Brown approved a bill amending California’s Family Code to provide that a child can have more than two parents. As family structures morph and expand throughout the country, California is putting the stamp of legal recognition on the reality of many children’s lives.
Merriam-Webster defines a parent as “a person who is a father or mother; a person who has a child.” If we stopped right there, we’d know that 21st century children can have more than two of these people in their lives. Start with “a person who is a father or mother.” Suppose a couple want a child, but the woman is unable to conceive. They might use the husband’s sperm to fertilize an egg from a donor, implant the resulting embryo in the uterus of a gestational carrier who grows and births a child, and take the baby home from the hospital to raise. We all know who the father is in this scenario, but who’s the mother? Three components of parenthood just got diced up and distributed among three different women: this child will have DNA from one, will have been nurtured to life in the womb of another and will be raised by a third…