If kids can have more than two parents, biological mothers and fathers will begin to lose their importance before the law.
That’s the essence of the objection that traditional family folks have mounted to legislation expected to pass the California Legislature this week.
A couple of days I posted an interview with the bill’s sponsor, Mark Leno, a California senator from San Francisco.
Now here’s the other side: a matching interview with Bill May, President of San Francisco-based Catholics for the Common Good.
May: The law is really so complicated right now, you know when you start tweaking one part of the law or another part of the law particularly in an area to permit more than two parents there are so many unforeseen consequences of this. And basically this bill is compounding things that are getting further and further away from the fundamental rights of children and more into the dealing with the competing interests of adults related to children.
The guidance of the bill is that the decision should be made in the best interests of the child. But what is the best interest of the child? That’s not defined anywhere. It’s completely up to the judge in trying to sort out the conflicting interests of adults over the interests of the child.
Me: How could this be used to hurt the interests of children?
May: We all have a desire for connection with the man and woman we came from. But under the law it’s really saying that has no significance. It will it encourage more people to create children with the intention of depriving them of knowing and being cared for by their mother and father. That’s a fundamental right that’s recognized in the UN convention on the rights of the child. It’s a right that’s not recognized by the state of California.
We’ve got serious problems related to the breakdown of marriage, the increase of poverty, the consequences of fatherless homes. We should be having policies that really promote policies that promote men and women to marry before having children, rather than redefining parenthood.
Me: Can’t a child benefit from having more than two adults involved in parenting?
May: Imagine three or four competing adults trying to decide where the kid’s going to go to school, what activities the kid is going to do, who the kid is going to spend time with. This isn’t about the best interest of the child. There are so many complex things related to this, tax exemptions, citizenship, so many side issues that permits all kinds of game playing for the benefit of different adults.
But when I talked to him May sounded like he had pretty much given up on lobbying against the bill. Republicans have voted against it, but they are far outnumbered in the California Legislature. This next step for family law looks virtually certain.