Family Code Section 7611 is my favorite code section because it rewards parents, not biological parents, but moms and dads who are there for the child.
Under this code section if a person holds the child out as his or her own, and this child knows that individual as his/her parent, then that parent is considered a presumed parent under Family Code Section 7611. Of course parental presumption comes in the following “traditional” ways:
1. Children born in marriage;
2. Children born 300 days before or after an attempt at marriage;
3. Children named on birth certificates;
4. Children under Voluntary Declaration of Paternities and
5. Children born under Domestic Partnerships (this was the form of legal union prior to the legalization of gay marriage in California)
The “non traditional” ways of being identified as a parent are as follows:
1. Holding a child out as your own under any circumstance. I once had a case where a child was born to a mother who was homeless and a father who was incarcerated. A friend of the mother stepped in and took the child as his own. This child knew no other parent, and called him Dad. I obtained orders for this individual to be the actual parent with sole legal and physical custody of the child. The court recognized and commended this father for being a dad to this young boy.
2. Same Sex Couples- if couples, or even individuals alone, have children through legal surrogacy with a physician assisted medical procedure and it was intended for that couple or individual to parent that child and the post-birth conduct of that individual or couple is that of a parent to a child, then the law views that parent no differently than any other traditional parent. You are that child’s parent. Click on this link for more information on Same Sex Couples
The important factor in any one of these situations is to evaluate the post-birth conduct. The law does not discriminate, at all, as to who can be a parent. The law rewards those who care for the child and built a parent-child bond with that child.
Disclaimer * Nothing in this post shall constitute legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship. Do not rely on this post as legal advice, please consult an attorney should you have any thoughts, questions or concerns regarding any family law concerns. This post does not go in depth as to legal implications or requirements. It is only meant for a brief, breezy read and under no circumstances whatsoever to be relied upon.