Most states, including Michigan, do not permit a child to have more than two legal parents. However, recognizing the growing number of alternative families, in rent years, Delaware and the District of Columbia have passed laws that allow for third “de facto parents.” De facto parents have the same rights and responsibilities toward their children as adoptive parents.
Additionally, over the last decade several states, including Oregon and Massachusetts, have also recognized three legal parents in a handful of cases.
Pending legislation in California would allow judges to recognize more than two legal parents for a given child, opening the door for alternative families to seek legal recognition of their relationships. Mark Leno, the state senator who sponsored the bill, says that “There are literally scores of different families and circumstances.” The bill would require a best interests of the child hearing before any order extending parental rights to anyone other than the legal parent or legal parents.
You may read Measure Opens Door to Three Parents, or Four here. Byline: Ian Lovett, Published
July 13, 2012
Other articles on alternative families may be read here on this blog.