Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dad & Mom & Mom

Internet janitors are still mopping up the bits of brain and skull that were plastered across the right-wing blogoshere yesterday after hundreds of conservative heads simultaneously exploded following a court decision that ruled a child can have 3 parents.

The case involves a lesbian couple raising their son with the continued involvement of the biological father. The mother's partner wanted to adopt the boy, and in view of "new reproductive technologies and society's understanding of relationships", and the fact that the child was happy, healthy and well-adjusted, the court ruled in favour. Predictably, Conservatives responded with the usual blather about the traditional family and the slippery slope.

What's the problem? Ever since the advent of gay marriage, conservatives have been blatting about how a kid needs male and female role models. In yesterday's ruling, that's exactly what the kid got. In this day of serial marriage and divorce, how is this so different than any second-time-around spouse who adopts their partner's kids?

Conservatives disingenuously maintain that their concerns are about the destruction of the "traditional family". But I daresay they wouldn't be whacking themselves senseless if the mother's partner in yesterday's case had been a man. It's not about the multi-parent family, it's about the gay, to paraphrase bc waterboy's comment here.

The "traditional family" argument is quickly losing traction anyway for a number of reasons, the foremost being that the "traditional" family isn't all that traditional. Extended families were the norm well into the 1900's, with kids raised not just by their biological parents, but by aunts, uncles and grandparents in a manifestation of the "it takes a village" meme. The nuclear ("traditional") family, if it exists at all, is a pretty recent historical phenomenon, only emerging as a societal norm out of post-war affluence. Now that a single income can no longer support a family, we're headed back to more tribal family forms.

Welcome to the traditional family, 2007.