Sunday, February 13, 2022

These Aren't Your Grandparent's Parents Anymore


Despite nearly every study ever undertaken anywhere in the world showing that kids do better when they have one dad and one mom living together with them in the same household, it will almost certainly soon be unremarkable for a child to have three or more legal parents. Six states — California, Delaware, Maine, Vermont, Washington and Connecticut — have enacted laws over the past decade expressly allowing a court to recognize more than two parents for a child. Many others, including Massachusetts, are considering similar proposals.

Why? In large part because of the rapidly rising numbers and public profile of LGBTQ families combined with those whose children were conceived through assisted reproduction. In many of these families, one, two-- or more— “parents” are not genetically related to their “children.” Many states now legally recognize these “intended parents.”

Well, hell, why should any genetic connection be required for a legal parent-child relationship? Social factors are more important, are they not? If I intended to be someone’s parent that should be good enough. The ”intended parent” definition also removes reactionary, hurtful, and marginalizing notions such as that one should be older than one’s offspring. I mean, if I happen to be 22-years-old but intend to be, say, Taylor Swift’s parent, who’s to deny me that right? On what grounds? If I identify as someone/anyone’s dad or mom, who can reasonably refute my claim?

Limiting the number of anyone’s parents to two—or any given number-- seems as bizarre and illogical as putting restrictions on their gender, sexual orientation, kink, or species, a sad remnant of a bigoted and thankfully bygone era. What difference does it make if a kid has two—or twenty—parents? Isn’t it better if a youngster learns tolerance and acceptance from a parental group of, say, two bisexual men, three lesbian women, one young girl, two trans men, four pansexual pangender Satanists…and a goat?

What a wonderful world it would be.


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