California legislators consider group-parenting measure


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A bill that seeks to radically redefine the term "parent" is edging closer to becoming law in California.

SB 1476, authored by San Francisco Democrat Mark Leno, seeks to allow any number of adults to share legal custody of a child. The bill already passed the Senate and at least one committee in the General Assembly, and could soon come up for a floor vote.

According to the text, "This bill would, in the case of a child with more than 2 legal parents, require the court to allocate custody and visitation among the parents based on the best interest of the child, including stability for the child."

Leno — who is openly homosexual — says his bill is meant to help children who have unconventional family arrangements, such as gay parents, as well as sperm donors and surrogate mothers. But California Family Policy Council Executive Director Ron Prentice said that's not all it will do.

"Just about any bill that Senator Leno puts out specific to the nature of family really has behind it a bearing on deconstructing traditional marriage and traditional families," he said. "His example is a woman who was involved in a lesbian relationship but separated and had a sexual tryst with a man, got pregnant, and so now all three adults should play ping-pong with this kid as the ball."

Glenn Stanton, Focus on the Family's director of family formation studies, pointed out how such arrangements may actually harm children, rather than help them.

"You talk about the ping-ponging between (a divorced) mom and dad?" he said. "Now it's three parents, four parents, five parents — and that is crazy for the kid. If the family breaks up, it will create a very difficult situation for the child. Increase that by more numbers, and you've got a horrible situation.

"No new family form that we have seen has elevated any form of important child well-being," he added. "They've all harmed it. This is just another one of those changes that will hurt children and is driven simply by an adult desire to have them."

Would children of abusive biological parents benefit from such a law? Or those whose biological parents die?

No, said Stanton — because longstanding programs already cater to those children's needs, including foster care and wills appointing legal guardians for minors.

"If (parents are) not willing to do that, they're not likely to sign up for this more-than-two-parentage thing," he said. "The bottom line is: Same-sex marriage is seeking to radically redefine marriage and parenting. This seeks to radically redefine what a parent is, and base it solely on legal claims rather than biological. When you set up parentage on a legal claim, children become property to be fought over. No family, no culture anywhere has found a family alternative that is more effective at raising good children than the mom-and-dad family."