If you like hearing yourself called "Mom" or "Dad," you might want
to get it on tape. Those days may be rapidly disappearing.
In Spain, all birth certificates have been changed from listing "Mother"
and "Father" to "Progenitor A" and "Progenitor B."
The old classic "Daddy's Little Girl" now becomes, "You're the end of the
rainbow, my pot of gold, you're Progenitor B's little girl to have and hold."
Earlier this year, the Commonwealth of Virginia issued a birth certificate
to an adoptive couple that read Parent 1 and Parent 2.
Canadians have erased the term "natural parent" and replaced it with "legal
The roles once determined by a man, a woman and a pregnancy are now
increasingly determined by the state.
The Commission on Parenthood's Future, a nonpartisan group of scholars and
leaders concerned with marriage, family, law and culture, recently released
a white paper titled "The Revolution in Parenthood." The revolution is that
the "two-person, mother-father model of parenthood is being fundamentally
So long, Mom. Bye-bye Daddy.
The examples are global: In Australia, proposals are on the table allowing
children conceived with the use of donors to have three parents.
In New Zealand, donors are allowed to "opt in" to parenthood if they wish.
It would be natural to assume that if one can "opt in," one can "opt out."
As though opting in and out of parenting were viable. "I'm opting out this
month, you take over."
In Erie County, Pennsylvania, a 62-year-old man and his 60-year-old
girlfriend commissioned a surrogate to carry triplets. When the couple
failed to pick up the infants (perhaps they had opted out that day), a
judge released the babies to the surrogate. The surrogate has been raising
the babies, but now the commissioning couple is fighting for access.
How can you not feel sorry for children born into a family configuration
In Canada, an adopted child has the right to know the identity of the
biological parents, but revealing the identity of a donor is a federal
crime punishable by fines and prison time.
Polyamorists (meaning "many loves") are also being heard. The Heartland
Polyamory Conference was held this fall in French Lick. I'm not sure how
successful it was. Their web site featured a four-day schedule grid that
had only two events listed - lunch and dinner. In any case, polyamorists
also are clamoring for recognition in the redefinition of family. Meet the
fam, progenitors A, B, C, D, E, ad infinitum.
In the midst of all this family turmoil, the voice of sensibility calls
from France, where a parliamentary report acknowledges, "the desire for a
child seems to have become a right to a child." The report cites the
"precautionary principle" and advises a ban on surrogacy should stand.
The desire to procreate, reproduce, and have children is one of the
strongest desires known to mankind. The heartbreak of infertility, the ache
of yearning for a child is enormous. But the desires and aches of adults
are only one part of the story.
There is something gravely disturbing when we deliberately create families
with multiple parents, anonymous donors, and the ability to opt in, before
the babies are even born.
The Commission on Parenthood calls for something that will sound familiar
to parents a time out a five-year moratorium on the laws and proposals that are redefining the roles of parents, often at the expense of the kids. The commission asks that we take a deep breath, pause and carefully prioritize the needs of children.
There can't be nearly as much harm in waiting as there is in charging ahead.