This article shares the harrowing details of a N.Y Court’s recent decision to give one boy “three parents.” It’s a horrifyingly tidy story about a child whose life is in chaos because three adults disregarded the “norms” of marriage- monogamy, complimentarily, permanence. These “norms” are what most cultures throughout history have considered “normal” or expected behavior for married couples because they have very clear connections to the well-being of children.
- Polyamory- group love- is the next frontier in the marriage battle. If gender doesn’t matter to marriage, then why should monogamy– limiting the number of adults to just two? This is why. In this “three parent” scenario, a man and his wife chose to include their downstairs neighbor in their sexual adventures. The resulting child, a product of the husband and neighbor, is now 10-years old and caught in a dizzying custody battle. Multiple (poly) partners, always means the presence of non-biological adults in the home which statistically diminish child outcomes because more “parents” do not make a child’s life better. Rather, as in this situation, the child’s life often becomes unstable, complicated, or even endangered with more adults on the home-front. Monogamy is good for kids.
- Complementarity, where the two sexes “compliment” each other, is a marital norm because it takes a man and a woman to make a baby. That baby will need that man and woman at each stage of development. A boy like this, who ends up with “two moms” will do so at the expense of losing a partial or full relationship with his father. Gender matters, and kids don’t need weekend visits with dad (or mom.) They need 100% of mom and dad every day. Complementarity is good for kids.
- The expectation of permanence within marriage is critical because while the sexual desires of adults can change, the child’s need for stability does not. A society-wide expectation that adults will remain committed to one another regardless of their sexual appetites serves children. Without the norm of permanence (which took a major hit with the acceptance of no-fault divorce), parental break-up is often the first of many losses and transitions for children. When a child’s parents divorce (or in this case, never commit), the result is ongoing instability and turmoil. Permanence is good for kids.
*Bonus: Infertility is not an argument against man/woman marriage. Seldom are both adults in a marriage infertile. As in this case with a fertile husband and infertile wife, it’s still in the state’s interest to encourage sexual fidelity within the (original) marriage, so that a child isn’t born outside of the protection of marriage… like this boy.
Marital norms do not exist to limit adult fun. Rather, each of them have a very specific benefit to kids, and abandoning any of these ideals has serious life-altering consequences for children, as this young boy knows all too well.
P.S. When we said that redefining marriage would redefine parenthood, we weren’t playin’.