Washington Times Oct 6 2011
In the eyes of children, is it paramount that they were “planned” and “wanted”? Or does the family structure of their home matter more? These are two of the many thought-provoking questions about donor-conceived children and “diverse” family forms in a report released Thursday from the Commission on Parenthood’s Future at the Institute of American Values (IAV).
…The IAV’s groundbreaking report seeks to start a discussion about families where children have one, two, three, four and five parents. The report excludes families missing a parent because of unintended circumstances such as death of a parent, divorce, remarriage, adoption or accidental pregnancy. But it includes polyamorous and polygamous families, where children are asked to accept multiple, unrelated adults as their parents. It also includes women and men who intend to be single parents; gay couples; and persons – gay or straight – who create a child to raise together but without a relationship with each other. This latter arrangement, in which a child is expected to live a “split life” with two unrelated co-parents, is probably “handing a lot of head games to the child,” Ms. Marquardt said. Despite the slogan that “every child should be a wanted child,” she said, it should not be assumed that “wantedness” is the most important factor for child well-being. Much more research, discussion and debate is needed about the impact of “intentional parenthood,” family structure and other factors.