In June 2019, Them Before Us filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court on behalf of twin nine year olds defending their right to be raised by their father, who is gay. An overview of the case can be found at The Federalist and The Daily Signal. You can read the entire brief here.
Here’s a summary of the main points of our amicus brief:
- The court should clarify children’s fundamental liberty interests in their biological family bonds. “No doubt Petitioner has a fundamental liberty interest in parenting his children. But this right should not guide the Court’s decision to grant review. Instead, the Court should grant review to clarify that children have an enumerated right to be known and loved by their biological parents.”
- “Intent-based” parenthood is about what adults want, not what children need. “When the basis for parenthood is no longer biological but ‘intentional,’ it endorses scenarios…where children are swapped and traded, cut and pasted into any and every conceivable adult arrangement.”
- Children long for their biological parents regardless of their family structure. “In the heart of a child, not all adults are created equal. There are two people children innately long to know and be known by—their biological mother and father…This longing to be known by one’s biological parents exists regardless of the parents’ sexual orientation. For children, it is not about their parent’s sexual identity. It is simply about biology.”
- Biology gives children their identities. “A child’s relationship to his biological parents is the closest of that child’s human relationships. It is identity-determining. To be born of different parents is to be an entirely different person…children can miss the love of absent biological parents even if they are well-loved by others.”
- Biology is crucial to children’s safety and wellbeing. “There are committed non-biological caretakers. But studies show that unrelated cohabiting adults are less invested in and protective of the children in their care. This phenomenon is known among evolutionary biologists as the ‘Cinderella Effect.’”
- Only biology and adoption are the basis for parenthood. “The trend toward ‘intent-based’ parenthood is grievous. It is never necessary to give a child to an unrelated adult without requiring that adult to undergo vetting, training, and supervision.”
This case has the potential to either strengthen or degrade every parent-child relationship in the country. When biology isn’t the basis for parenthood, it’s a major power grab for the state, which can override anyone’s claim to their own children. As a result, it’s a threat to every parent—and every child.