More than 2 legal parents: Degeneration, Accomodation, or Improvement?

This article linked from Drudge pits gay marriage interests against traditional Christian interests. A California state bill is seeking to eliminate a legal limit to the number of parents that a child can have.

Under Leno’s bill, if three or more people who acted as parents could not agree on custody, visitation and child support, a judge could split those things up among them.

SB 1476 is not meant to expand the definition of who can qualify as a parent, only to eliminate the limit of two per child.

Under current law, a parent can be a man who signs a voluntary declaration of paternity, for example. It also can be a man who was married and living with a child’s mother, or who took a baby into his home and represented the infant as his own.

Leno’s bill, which has passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly, would apply equally to men or women, and to straight or gay couples.

Examples of three-parent relationships that could be affected by SB 1476 include:

• A family in which a man began dating a woman while she was pregnant, then raised that child with her for seven years. The youth also had a parental relationship with the biological father.

• A same-sex couple who asked a close male friend to help them conceive, then decided that all three would raise the child.

• A divorce in which a woman and her second husband were the legal parents of a child, but the biological father maintained close ties as well.

I believe that there is a divine design to the way children are conceived. It takes a mother and a father. For those who may be confused about this, let me also specify that the mother is female and the father is male. Marriage is the context established in this design and upheld in societies for thousands of years for the conception, birth, and raising of children. This design is in the best interest of children and of society for a plethora of reasons, many of which have now been discovered by social scientists.

The three examples given in the excerpt above are therefore examples of something broken in the social relationships of those people. I grant that examples of brokenness abound in our culture. The detrimental effects of this are a root cause of many social ills that plague 21st Century America, and probably other western societies. Denial makes this no less true.

I have also seen the kind of brokenness where the natural parents of a child are less deserving, or less satisfactory as parents than someone else who may be unrelated. Sometimes a parent is such a danger or detriment to the well-being of his/her own child that a judge should be able to remove the child from his/her custody and allow the other person to become the effective parent of the child. Well, that kind of thing can already happen. It’s called adoption, and there are child-protective services to facilitate it.

So we recognize that things can be broken. But this effort to allow for more than two legal parents: how does that strengthen families? How does it benefit society? What does it do for children? What consequences might it have that Jim Sanders of the Sacramento Bee did not mention in his article?

Now, I notice that the Sacramento Bee has disabled comments on this article. It says at the bottom, “Comments on this story were closed because of hate speech.” No doubt someone will label my post as such. That’s a classic fallacy of argumentation called “ad hominem.” Instead of addressing the argument, you attack the messenger. It’s an attempt to avoid the argument (probably because you’re losing it) and silence the opposition. While God does condemn hatred of that which is not evil, we also need to recognize that He has other things to say, and we ought to hear Him. His design is good. Corruptions of His design are evil. Yet for all those corruptions, God has already provided justice through the death of His only-begotten Son, who now lives again to reign eternally. That means broken households, broken people, and broken societies can repent and receive God’s forgiveness. In the final analysis, that’s not hate speech. It’s love speech.

“A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, Is like the beasts that perish.”

Leave a Reply