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My three parents

 
 
Reply Sun 15 Jul, 2012 07:05 pm
I'm not sure what to make of this. What, if any, situations can you think up that would allow for three or more parents?

Quote:
A California bill allowing children to have more than two parents is moving through the legislature. Its passage could fuel similar legislative efforts in other states to help address expanding definitions of family and parenthood brought on by same-sex marriage and advances in reproductive technologies.

The legislation, which has the support of gay and lesbian groups as well as some child-advocacy organizations, would give California judges explicit authority to grant parenthood status to three or more people, provided that such a move is "required to protect the best interests of the child."

......

Statutes in Delaware and the District of Columbia create the possibility for a child having more than two parents in limited situations. And judges in a handful of other states -- including Pennsylvania, Louisiana, California and Oregon -- have recognized three parents in exceptionally rare scenarios.

......

A handful of judges in recent years have approved three-parent arrangements. In 2010, for instance, an Oregon judge allowed a stepfather to "adopt" and become a third parent to a child, alongside the mother and biological father. Judges in California and Massachusetts have made similar rulings.

In each of these instances, however, the judges were merely granting the wishes of all the parties. The California bill would give judges the explicit authority to recognize three parents in contentious situations, like custody or child-support battles.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304373804577525782152501196.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
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Type: Question • Score: 7 • Views: 3,921 • Replies: 45

 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jul, 2012 07:49 pm
@boomerang,
I was just thinking about my friend, M.

M. recently got married to a really great guy. Her kids adore him. He's been their "dad" for several years.

M's ex hasn't seen the kids in years, and doesn't pay child support; he's your stereotypical "deadbeat dad".

M's new husband wants to adopt the kids but ex refuses to relinquish his rights.

I think new husband should have an equal say to the bio-dad about the kids, the law says not. Allowing him to be a third legal parent kind of makes sense. If M were to get sick or be hurt in an accident the new husband would most definitely be in a better position to parent the kids then bio-dad would but as it stands now, bio-dad could swoop in and disrupt that relationship.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jul, 2012 07:52 pm
@boomerang,
The example I saw that made sense to me was when one lesbian couple and one gay male couple had kids together.

The kids spent three nights/week with their dads and four nights/week with their moms.

I have some reservations about making the kids move around that much (some sort of nesting arrangement would be better I think, or everyone living in the same house, or across the street, or something), but I do get how all four would be considered parents, equally.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jul, 2012 08:00 pm
@sozobe,
That one makes sense to me too.

But I do see how things could get really complicated and unhappy when all the parents don't agree on something. Things often get ugly when there are only the normal two parents involved.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jul, 2012 09:00 pm
Friends of mine had a baby via surrogate. Although the surrogates sign off on the baby and it's all contractual laid out, but I could see the surrogate stepping in if the parents pan out to be unfit.

In any case, I think it would create more hardship for the kids in general.
I've seen kids - whose parents have joint custody - move from one home to the next and in each home there are new partners, new rules and (if lucky) new friends. It's so hard on the kids!
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jul, 2012 09:17 pm
@boomerang,
sounds like a plot twist from HBO...

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 03:15 am
Even leaving aside the situation of homosexual partners being parents, a child might be raised by a step-father or a step-mother who was functionally the parent, even without any biological relationship. After all, two men as parents might well mean that neither of them were the biological parent, and even with two women as parents, only one can be the biological parent, and in the case of adoption or surrogacy, neither might be a biological parent. It makes sense to me--an adult who involves him- or herself in the life of a child is as much the parent as anyone with a biological relationship.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 03:39 am
@boomerang,
It all has the look of more and more complicated sticking plaster operations once the Christian ideal of parenting is traduced. And a gravy dipping festivity for judges and the legal profession generally.

Protecting "the best interests of the child" is an extremely elastic idea and so speculative that it might easily be considered abstract.

We all pretend that education is run for the benefit of kids but we all know that it is a coy fiction. Kids have become toys for adults to play with. Shuttlecocks.

0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 04:04 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I'm not sure what to make of this.
What, if any, situations can you think up that would allow for three or more parents?

Quote:
A California bill allowing children to have more than two parents is moving through the legislature. Its passage could fuel similar legislative efforts in other states to help address expanding definitions of family and parenthood brought on by same-sex marriage and advances in reproductive technologies.

The legislation, which has the support of gay and lesbian groups as well as some child-advocacy organizations, would give California judges explicit authority to grant parenthood status to three or more people, provided that such a move is "required to protect the best interests of the child."
The child HIMSELF shud have a veto. He might dislike n emotionally reject #3.





David
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 06:00 am
@OmSigDAVID,
The kid could reject the lot and demand to be a Duke's son.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 06:32 am
@Setanta,
Exactly. My friend M___ 's folks divorced when she was young. Both parents remarried and had children, and I think the stepmother had kids from a previous marriage. M__ has 4 step- and half-siblings that I can remember off the top of my head. I know I am missing someone.

M and her full brother (also M).
Their mother's daughter with the second husband, L___.
The stepmother's son with her first husband (another L___).
Their father's son with his second wife, PJ___.

Everyone is cordial and it's taken me years to sort out who is who (despite last names), as M__ refers to everyone as just her brother or her sister.

Why can't M___'s stepmother have some legal standing? Or her stepfather, for that matter? All supported her. All attended her wedding. I think they all helped pay for law school. So yeah, M, of course, only has one biological mother and one biological father. But why are the others shunted aside, as if they were nothing?
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 06:38 am
@jespah,
It surprizes me that relatives 'd contribute to paying for law school.
(It never occurred to me to hit any of them up.)

Just out of curiosity, what purpose is served
in concealing FIRST names, if last names r not revealed ??





David
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 07:44 am
Children, in my experience, seldom have only two parents. I didn't. I had my father and mother (luckily) but we also had god-parents and neighborhood parents and fake grandparent-parents.

My kids were brought up that way too.

I understand that this would make everything legally binding, but I think it's a very small step.

Joe(If I threw a rock in my neighborhood, someone would have told my mother before it landed.)Nation
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 08:15 am
As a former de facto parent I can see the benefits of this, and the complications.

It's really hard to determine what's in the best interest of a kid. While we don't share parenthood status with anyone we do have a lot of bio-relative activity on the perimeter of our lives. It gets complicated. Very complicated.

I can't say what it might be like if these people had equal parenting rights but I'm pretty sure it would be difficult. And I don't mean in an ownership, "MY kid" sort of way.....
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 09:09 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Well, these people might want to retain their privacy. M__ says she doesn't participate in any social media at all, so I respect her wishes.

As for everyone paying, her parents paid (just like mine did) but her folks have new partners and new households, with everyone working and contributing. Hence the stepmother, etc. paid in.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 09:23 am
@jespah,
jespah wrote:

Well, these people might want to retain their privacy.
M__ says she doesn't participate in any social media at all,
so I respect her wishes.
I ofen refer to my friends, Don, Marty, Cloty & my dead friend, Neil.
I don't believe that any of their privacies can be compromized
without revealing their last names.
( In point of fact, in NY, the Office of Court Adminstration
has informed me that there r several lawyers admitted
to practice in NY with my first, middle and last names identical.
The computer records of some banks that I 've used have shown
the same thing. My last name is not common, like Smith. )



jespah wrote:
As for everyone paying, her parents paid (just like mine did) but her folks have new partners and new households,
with everyone working and contributing. Hence the stepmother, etc. paid in.
WoW! Whodathunkit!? Geee, its been about 5O years.
I guess that 's too late to get contributions on a nunc pro tunc, ex post facto basis.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 09:37 am
@Joe Nation,
Joe Nation wrote:

Children, in my experience, seldom have only two parents.
I didn't. I had my father and mother (luckily) but we also had god-parents
and neighborhood parents and fake grandparent-parents.

My kids were brought up that way too.

I understand that this would make everything legally binding,
but I think it's a very small step.

Joe(If I threw a rock in my neighborhood, someone would have
told my mother before it landed.)Nation
Too ofen, my friends who have children
have told the children to call me "Uncle David".
I don't like the idea. I always tell them just to call me David.
Sometimes, the parents r strident on the point.
In practice, the kids have done it my way.
I just wanna be a friend, not an authority figure.





David
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 09:55 am
@OmSigDAVID,

David: If my friend asked to have the children call me Uncle Joe, I would have done it the parents' way: first, so as not to undermine their role as parents and second, because I am supposedly their friend.

If you subverted my parental role, even in the slightest way, it wouldn't take me long to start excising you from any guest list where you might have access and influence over my children.

Joe(how rude of you.)Nation
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 10:07 am
@Joe Nation,
Joe Nation wrote:

David: If my friend asked to have the children call me Uncle Joe, I would have done it the parents' way: first, so as not to undermine their role as parents and second, because I am supposedly their friend.

If you subverted my parental role, even in the slightest way, it wouldn't take me long to start excising you from any guest list where you might have access and influence over my children.

Joe(how rude of you.)Nation
Its not rude; its defensive.
I don't want any title of authority being affixed unto me;
not without my consent and with my getting paid for it.
I have become accustomed to getting paid to exercise authority.

I REFUSE to exercise authority over the kids based on age,
and I reject the TRAPPINGS thereof.

Apparently, the kids did not think much of the idea either,
judging by the fact that I 've never been called "Uncle David".



P.S.:
I think its a little insulting to the kids
to demand that of them.

If my father had done that to ME,
when I was a kid (or thereafter), I 'd have spoken up for myself and REFUSED,
but telling him that if HE wants to call him "Uncle Joe" that's OK.





David
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 10:10 am
@OmSigDAVID,
It's not about you, David. It's about the relationship being a child and his parents and the respect, or lack thereof, you have for same.

First, be my friend, then be a friend to my child.

Joe(or get the hell away from us. Very Happy )Nation
 

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