Can a known donor renounce his legal obligations as a parent?

California law explicitly allows artificial insemination of unmarried women and removes any paternity rights from the donor.  However, the procedures must be performed with physician involvement to remove the donor’s legal rights and obligations.

What if a known donor attempts to enforce his parental rights when the original intent was to be a sperm donor only?

This is possible under certain circumstances – specifically, if the parties fail to follow the language of the California statute addressing donors, or if the donor “holds out” the child as his own through his relationship with the child, the donor may be able to assert parentage.

Does the state allow for second-parent adoption (i.e., for same-sex couples)?


Does the state allow for multiple-parent families (when the child has more than two adults in a parenting role)?

No – courts in California have rejected granting additional adults the status of a legal parent, and the CA governor vetoed a bill passed by the CA legislature in 2012 that would have allowed courts to recognize additional parents when such individuals were acting in a parental capacity.

Does the state recognize “de-facto” or “psychological” parentage (of an “acting” parent without a biological connection)?