Democratic Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco says he wrote the bill to recognize non-traditional families…where there might be biological non-custodial fathers or surrogate mothers.
The bill rises from the case of a child who had two legal mothers. When one was sent to prison and the other hospitalized, the biological father was not allowed to act as legal guardian.
But opponents argue Leno's bill complicates issues of parental law and could spark litigation. Diane Wasznicky is the President of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists.
WASZNICKY: "It's going to cause confusion, it will probably create conflict and it's only going to lead to problems."
Leno says the legislation would apply only in family court when required to protect the best interests of the child.
LENO: "Number one, it won't be used often but when it is it won't be about a child having too many parents, it's when a child has too few parents, and we want to make sure that child doesn't find his or herself in our foster care system."
The bill has passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly.