The legislation was inspired by a 2011 court decision where the child of a lesbian couple was left stranded after one of her mothers was hospitalized and the other was jailed. Because a court found that the child's biological father did not have parenting rights, the child was sent to foster care.
"It is critical that judges have the ability to recognize the roles of all parents so that no child has to endure separation from one of the adults he or she has always known as a parent," state Sen. Mark Leno told the LA Times.
The bill, SB 274, was strongly opposed by "traditional family" advocates, who say the shifting definition of parent will complicate court proceedings. Fans of "Three Men and a Baby", however, are thrilled.