Another Modern Family Mess

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on September 2, 2015

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Since the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing for gay marriage in all fifty states, we’ve spent a lot of time warning you about the new push for the false idea of “family equality.” Proponents of this idea hold that all couples have an equal right to children.

Earlier this week, a New York Post columnist covering yet another modern family custody battle had this to say: “Marriage isn’t the only legal procedure getting a makeover by same-sex couples. When gay families break up, custody fights sometimes require a lot of explanation — and new precedent in the courts.”

In this particular situation, a gay couple donated sperm to a lesbian couple resulting in a child that the quartet planned to raise together. The whole scheme lasted, ironically, only nine months. And now there’s a tug-of-war over who gets custody of the child.

Proponents of “family equality” are championing the notion that the law should be “biologically neutral” in such cases. In other words, biology is unimportant and only a minor facet in determining the fate and story of the children in question.

But as both the data and the personal stories of children born through egg and sperm donation and surrogacy reveal, biology plays a hugely important role. It’s important for knowing both one’s medical history and it’s important for discovering one’s identity. These children long to know—and be known—by their biological parents.

In the aforementioned case, the child is biologically related to two of the individuals (one of the gay men and one of the lesbian women). But the way in which this child was conceived resembles nothing short of a buffet line, with the parents picking and choosing how they wanted to go about parenting, with little concern for the eventual child in question and an insatiable desire to satisfy their personal desires for parenthood.

The fallout from the brave new world of family equality is just beginning and will manifest itself in all sorts of ugly and unforeseen ways. In most custody cases, the best interest of the child is the ultimate trump card. Shamefully, when it comes to third party assisted reproduction, that principle was compromised long ago.

Image by Paul VanDerWerf via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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