Child Custody Fights to Get Very Complicated

I believe we are in a time of growing social anarchy, in part driven by the new reproductive technologies and marital instability. People want what they want, and regardless of potential consequences, by golly, they are going to make it happen! The fact that this could cause great confusion or distress in children is too often beside the point.

Of course, many see it differently. They couch their corrosive assault on family norms in terms of liberating people from stultifying conformity, catching up to modernity, or changing laws to match what children supposedly see. 

California already legally recognizes that a child can have three parents. Now, Australia may go even further. From the ever-valuable BioEdge’s report:

Australian law could be revised to allow more than one [sic, actually two?] parent, if recommendations in a major report are accepted by the government. A “Report On Parentage And The Family Law Act”, was released this week.

Adoption and new reproduction technologies are placing new strains on what “parent” means in contemporary society. Because of “the evidence of family diversity and children’s views about who is a parent”, the Council has recommended that the word “parent” be replaced by “other significant adults” or “other people of significance to the child” and that references to “both” (which implies only two) parents should be omitted.

There are many kinds of parents, the Council points out: legal, adoptive, genetic, intending, psychological, social and surrogate, amongst others.

I don’t see how this is going to turn out well for children. It can be tough enough for them with two legal parents and other adults going in and out of their lives.

But then, at 65, perhaps I am just set in my ways. Get off my lawn!

This I do know: Child custody fights and support petitions are going to get very complicated.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More