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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Meet Two Kids With Three Legal Parents

Posted by on Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Scaremongers on the religious right often demagogue about the terrifying prospect of children having three—or more—legal parents. So let's take a look at two kids with with three legal parents:

Pretty terrifying, huh? (Thanks to Slog tipper James.)


Comments (8) RSS

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Posted by SfR on January 26, 2014 at 9:28 PM · Report this
That was sweet.
Posted by Really Now... on January 26, 2014 at 9:58 PM · Report this
Lovely. Got to love the photobombing cat ...
Posted by deirdre_velcro on January 27, 2014 at 2:57 AM · Report this
Good for this family interviewed, for whom a third-parent adoption has worked out well with no downside. It does seem a little disingenuous to frame an 18-year-old providing enthusiastic consent to such an adoption as a KW3LP.

As someone Raised-by-the-Enemy, only too aware of the great power over children that legal parents can and do exercise, it was all I could do to cope with two people with parental authority over me trying to de-gay me. Three would have been my death. Now, it's quite possible that the vast majority of 3+LP would occur among Rainbow-Unicorn-Kitten families, but, given my father's possible poly nature (even Mr Savage would not call him "pretty good" at monogamy) and my mother's susceptibility to status, it would have been plausible.

I frame the issue as a child's right not to be under the legal authority of more than two parents. I can visualize it in cases of Enthusiastic and Informed (thus necessarily Non-coerced) Consent. I doubt the mental image of a Third Legal Parent trying to de-gay me will let me go much farther.
Posted by vennominon on January 27, 2014 at 4:54 AM · Report this
It does bring to mind some Woody Allen line about barely being able to survive one mother.

But in seriousness, if all three parents are awesome people, then there are only advantages in having more top-notch people deeply invested in the well-being of a young person.
Posted by Functional Atheist on January 27, 2014 at 9:54 AM · Report this
I cannot even watch this before chiming in:


We met with the lawyer and are completing the paperwork.

Our 21 month old daughter has me, her biological mom, her biological dad, and his wife of 11 years. A closed polyamorous queer triad: I'm bi, she's gender-queer/bi, he's straight. We debate the terms often and find commitment ceremonies icky/weird, so I'm sorry to report that we couldn't challenge Dan on his "Never been invited to the 1 year anniversary" schtick, but we're happy. Nothing was more important to us when we came together 3 years ago than to make a stable and supportive environment for our daughter. We're doing so well as a family that we're considering a second child.

Don't let the naysayers fool you. This is not about the concern trolling over imagined custody battles or the more mythic pronunciations of the death of the traditional family. This is, simply, protecting our daughter and, in particular, our third partner, in the face of myriad legal challenges that we will inevitably face, not to mention the very real fears of what would happen if/when any one or combination of us dies. (If he and I were to, say, die in a car crash before this 3 parent adoption is finished, our third partner would have no legal claim to our daughter, despite her having been her mother since before I even became pregnant, despite the fact that our lives are thoroughly and financially intertwined.)

What angers me most about those who rail against 3 parent adoptions is that when you boil it all down, these folks simply want the children of families like ours to not exist. After all, if they truly cared about a child's welfare, they wouldn't object to a parent demanding legal responsibility for a child's well being. (It wouldn't surprise me if it turned out that such folks rarely railed against divorced parents who fail to pay child support. It seems to me that there's a big difference between an adult wanting to claim legal responsibility to caring for a child than a person being compelled by the state to do so. Funny how you don't hear those rants in these arguments, huh?)

As for the folks who go on and on about how bad the custody battles will be, it's funny to me that I never hear those same folks then conclude that there should be no divorce for (straight) parents to spare the children such trauma. They also don't consider--frankly, they don't care--how much more chaotic it would be to a child's world if the legal system declared a loving parent's rights null and void in the face of a separation or death.

Posted by maddy811 on January 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM · Report this
@4: Here's the thing: you have no idea if a third parent would've been in lockstep with the other two (the third parent might've been inclined to try to talk the other two out of a harsh de-gayment campaign), and to be honest, there are lots of other relationships that mean that there are extra adults in one's life that already have some legal protection. I knew LOADS of kids who lived with their parents and grandparents as well as various aunts and uncles, all of whom had similar authority over them (I lived in a community with lots of immigrants). Besides, better to have 3 parents who are committed and love each other than two sets of parents who can't stand each other.

I guess the way to say this is that many, many children already have more than 2 parental figures. It's just that this particular configuration is unusual.
Posted by alguna_rubia on January 27, 2014 at 5:34 PM · Report this
Two *different* kinds of pickles for Adoption Day? Such hedonist excess is indeed rending the fabric of our nation.
Posted by west_bay_jane on January 28, 2014 at 10:24 PM · Report this

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