The news is reporting on another troubling development from California, where the state Senate is considering a bill that would specifically allow the government to designate more than two “parents” for a child. Although radical, this idea is not entirely novel. A handful of state legislatures and courts have endorsed the idea of multiple parents for a child, usually in the context of disputes involving a mother, her partner and a sperm donor.
The reason these kinds of laws are disastrous are not difficult to see (though ideology seems to blind their advocates to them). Courts may presumptuously decide that three or more adults should get a say in a child’s upbringing, but a child’s time, educational opportunities, loyalty, etc., can’t always be divided without doing harm to the child. It is clear that children have additional challenges when they must navigate a world shaped by conflicts between their own mother and father during a divorce. Is there any doubt these problems will be compounded when there are even more adults demanding a say in a child’s life and making demands on the child? Read more