With the nurturing of children having become an afterthought to many parents' pursuit of their own fulfillment through divorce, affairs or what have you, it is painfully unsurprising that California lawmakers are considering legislation to let more than two adults be the recognized, legal parents of a child.
"The bill brings California into the 21st century, recognizing that there are more than Ozzie-and-Harriet families today," said state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco -- as if the burden of proving they are good for children were on traditional families rather than on broken or bizarrely "blended" ones.
"Under Leno's bill, if three or more people who acted as parents could not agree on custody, visitation and child support, a judge could split those things up among them," The Sacramento Bee reported.
Contemplate that for a moment, if you can stomach it. It can be exceedingly unstable if not disastrous when a child is torn between two feuding parents and shuttled back and forth between them. Under what scenario is it to a child's benefit to be a pawn in a selfish game among, say, four "parents"? Even in the unlikely event that all four people had the child's best interests at heart, such a dilution of parental responsibility is a recipe for an insecure, unhappy childhood.
Oh, but then this is not really about what's best for the child. Look at the genesis of the proposed law, which already has passed in the California Senate: "SB 1476 stemmed from an appellate court case last year involving a child's biological mother, her same-sex partner, and a man who had an affair with the biological mother and impregnated her while she was separated temporarily from her female lover."
Do the actions of those individuals make them sound like people who understand the self-sacrifice -- the putting aside of their own desires and their own demands for fulfillment -- that is involved in raising children? Scarcely.
We can keep pushing various envelopes in this craven new world we seem to want to move toward. But it is inviting social catastrophe. And we don't seem to give a rip.