Though thee news appeared in the US media in mid-December, it did not receive much attention. Who knows if it is because of the business of the Christmas season, or else because people preferred to leave it quiet rather than trouble their consciences. The news was of a California judge’s recognition, in a ruling handed down in 2017, of three men named as “fathers” on the birth certificate of a three-year-old girl, Piper. The baby also has a younger brother, Parker, who is fourteen months old: the two children are actually half-siblings, obtained thanks to an egg donor and a surrogate mother. And it’s curious, in fact, that this news from 2017 suddenly found itself being reported in late 2020.
Ian Jenkins and Alan Mayfield have been a couple for 17 years. Eight years ago, Jeremy Allen Hodges joined their ménage, and thus a “polyamorous family” was born—which, as such, was lent a sort of official recognition by the 2017 ruling, which provided legal protections previously considered deficient and has paved the way for new similar proceedings.
Apparently the judge in San Diego, California, had initially stated that she could not grant the request to place the three men on Piper’s birth certificate, and that she was unable to “generate precedent.” Later, however, and “with tears in her eyes” from the commotion, she found a way to exploit the laws already on the books and “make legal history.”
Ian Jenkins is a doctor. He also masterfully uses social media to tell the story of his “family.” He’s also written a book, scheduled for release in March, entitled Three Dads and a Baby (echoing the 1987 farcical comedy, Three Men and a Baby—a completely different story). The book, in addition to telling about the unusual “family”, will offer “advice and suggestions” to other “parents.” I can hardly wait to read this advice….
Apart from the obvious media and economic exploitation of the whole affair, and ultimately of these children, whose faces are “splashed across the front page” and bounced around the web, there are the legal aspects to be remarked, as the ruling is already effecting precedent: in July 2020, in Somerville, Massachusetts, a vote was taken to guarantee people involved in polyamorous relationships some of the same legal rights as married spouses—for example, the possibility of appearing on the health insurance of one of the partners, and to be present at the hospital in case of hospitalizations and surgeries, as explained by The New York Times..
In previous years there have been other “historic” rulings on similar issues, always using the rationale of “marriage” between people of the same sex demanded by the LGBT + community. In Massachusetts, in 2004 legal “marriage” between homosexual couples arrived, and that implicitly paved the way for all that’s happened since: for example, when three young women gave birth to a particular “family” by means “handfasting” (a kind of ancient pagan ceremony) combined, with the help of an experienced lawyer, with “certain legally binding documents and marriage recognized by law”.
Moreover, “since December 2013 in the United States polygamy has been considered legal as a result of a ruling by a court in the State of Utah, which therefore constitutes a jurisprudential precedent valid throughout the country. The only limitation is that polygamous religious ceremonies do not (for now) have civil value, but their celebration and cohabitation between the “married” are legal.”
In 2015, then, “the federal Supreme Court imposed the legalization of homosexual ‘marriage’ on all the 50 states of the North American Union”, through a ruling that the federal Supreme Court justice Antonin G. Scalia (1936-2016) defined a threat to US democracy. That decision favored what Chief Justice John Roberts, dissenting, had previously feared: “Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective ‘two’ in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not.”
Now, that adjective “two” has become the new frontier, as in this case of three “fathers” for a baby—even though the decision culpably and irresponsibly overlooks the emotional impact on children, the confusion of roles and self that having three “fathers” and “no” mother entails. One can just throw away a hundred years of psychoanalysis and invoke the “anthropological concept,” but this is not, perhaps, a good idea. The impacts of this new “family” are clear:
First, there is the impact it has or can have on the whole society: it is not simply the fulfillment of the desire of three (or more…) people, homosexual or heterosexual, convinced of loving each other and of wanting to share their lives more fully (like husband and wife). It is, rather, a question of the legal recognition, entirely contrary to every principle of natural law, of such a relationship. And such recognition is no longer, tautologically, a private fact: it is an absolutely public fact and made universally valid.
Secondly, there is the issue of surrogacy: gestation for hire, the uterus for rent. iFamNews has dealt with this several times, has spoken of the attached uncontrolled exploitation and economic speculation, of superfetation, of what the maternal body means for the newborn at the time of greatest need for the psychophysical well-being of the whole life. This practice is, ultimately, legal dystopia.
And all of this is simply to satisfy the desire of adults. Hardly mentioned, an afterthought it seems (though not to us)—what about the children?