On October 4, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation SB 274 allowing children in California to have more than two legal parents. Governor Brown stated that the legislation addresses the changing family structure – such as situations where same-sex couples have a child with an opposite-sex biological parent. Such legislation gives the courts the ability to divide custody and financial responsibility among three or more legal parents who are involved in raising the child.
Embryo donations, commonly known as “snowflake babies” or embryo adoptions, are an increasingly common way to facilitate pregnancy. Embryo donations often involve the donation of frozen embryos remaining from another couple’s previous in vitro fertilization efforts without compensation. In most situations, the woman donating the embryos has previously had successful pregnancies and no longer needs to retain her frozen embryos.
What’s an independent adoption?
In an independent adoption, the birth parents must personally choose with whom to place their child. The birth parents are entitled to know certain information about the adoptive parents, such as their full names, age, ethnicity, religion, the length of their marriage, the number of times each spouse has been previously married, past criminal convictions, child support obligations, and whether any children were previously removed from their home due to abuse or neglect. In short, an independent adoption allows birth parents to personally select potential adoptive parents and have certain information about adoptive parents provided to them.