My Three Daddies: California Considers Multiple Parenting Law
The Story: A proposed bill in the California legislature would allow children to have more than two legal parents. The bill would apply equally to men and women, and to homosexual or heterosexual relationships, reports ABC News.
The Background: Supporters of the bill say that it is needed for such situations as when a lesbian couple that conceived a child with the help of a sperm donor. The legislation would allow both women and the male donor to be classified as legal parents.
However, some family law specialists, adoption rights groups, and family policy organizations are concerned about the consequences if the bill passes.
"People in the adoption world get very concerned about a law like this," said Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. Diane Wasznicky, president of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, says, the bill would "cause significant unintended consequences."
Glenn T. Stanton of Focus on the Family, argues that the bill appears to advocate for children's rights, but in reality gives adults legal protection to create "radical families."
"We hear all this celebratory talk about 'new families,' but there is no sociological, psychological or medical data showing any of these new family forms have served to the elevate the general physical, mental, educational or developmental well-being of children in any meaningful way," Stanton told ABC News.
"That job is best done for children by their own mother and father," he said. "And this bill would only take us farther down the trail of more 'experimental families' that fulfill adult desires, but consistently fail our children."
Why It Matters: We first severed sex from marriage and then separated reproduction from sex. Now the cultural fallout of same-sex parenthood, surrogacy, and assisted reproduction is leading to radical changes in parenthood.
A few other states---Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maine---already recognize more than two parents, but the size and influence of California could lead other states to adopt the measure. Within a few decades---if not sooner---we can expect to see the nuclear family treated not as the ideal family structure but the least valid of "lifestyle choices." After all, if it's good for a child to have a mother and father, shouldn't it be better when they have two moms and three dads---all with the same legal rights?