PUBLIC OPINION > Having More Than Two Parents Is Controversial

Living 2012/07/05 21:00:00
California lawmakers are pushing a new bill that would allow children to legally have more than two parents in order to address complicated parenting situations. However, opponents have pointed out that the bill would bring equally complicated legal issues into the mix -- tax deductions, citizenship, and assistance, to name a few. We asked the public if it was OK for a child to have more than two parents.

After more than 800 votes, the public still couldn't come to a consensus. It was split right down the middle. This is a pretty complex issue. On the plus side, additional parents are a reality that many kids are dealing with, especially in non-traditional homes. On the other hand, additional parents can potentially cause more disagreements and confusion within the non-nuclear family and among society at large. Needless to say, there are a lot of elements at work.

Parents Limit Parents

Though parenthood didn't have the strongest effect on how voters responded, it's the most immediate demographic. They are the ones who are going to make that decision (or at least fall into that position), after all. What's interesting is that people who don't want kids were most likely to OK additional parents. It's fine by them, as long as they aren't the ones doing it.

Modern Families

As you might expect, age had an enormous correlation. Voters under the age of 45 were about 35% more likely to give their blessing, while very few voters over 45 were OK with additional parents. We assume the primary reason for this is that younger voters are more likely to have either grown up with multiple parents, or known people who grew up with multiple parents. Or maybe they're just more open-minded.

The Man of the House

The gender correlation was interesting. Based on the results, women are about 23% more likely to be OK with additional parents than men. This could be the result of two elements. First, previous polls have suggested women are more comfortable with the thought of homosexual relationships. Second, men are sometimes expected to be the "head of the household." If a father has to share that responsibility with a step-parent, it could create difficulty.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about having more than two parents. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • darlenedoskas1969 2012/07/06 14:24:35
    if my stepfather had had parental rights, I wouldn't have been left with my mother to be sold (sorry, I meant rented) to the highest bidder on a regular basis... my brother wouldn't have been murdered after one of her drug deals went bad... my sister wouldn't be a PTSD addled nutcase who is unable to care for her own child, or even herself... we could, instead have been raised by someone who actually gave a damn about us... but he didn't have rights... only our bio-dads had rights, and they were like mom, and didn't give a damn...

    having more than 2 parents shouldn't be controversial, if indeed it is... what should be controversial is abusing your kids... hurting your kids... letting other people hurt your kids... how about we worry more about helping kids, and making their lives better than about what sex their parents are or are not having?

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  • Jola Gracie ... 2012/07/05 21:55:00
    Um... How much do you know about the history of family? Not much I suspect. The nuclear family as we know today is actually apretty modern concept, and not something that has been around for centuries.

    It always amuses me how little the conservartives know about the past - even though they seem to be stuck in it ;)
  • Gracie ... Jola 2012/07/05 21:59:20
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    Not been around for centuries? Are you sure? I seem to have traced my family back to the early 1600's on most lines and they were living in family units, some extended families more than today but families, none the same. I am talking about modern civilization, is that where the confusion lies? It is really the liberal that's stuck on ancient history. Argue with an atheist and you get taken back to the Crusades!
  • Anonymo... Gracie ... 2012/07/05 22:25:37
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    In rural communities, extended families were the norm from the end of the tribes to the Industrial revolution. That's when nuclear families took over and women took a housekeeping role - before then, responsibilities were shared.
  • Horace Anonymo... 2012/07/05 23:31:07
    Extended families were indeed the norm throughout most of history but the concept of every child having a single father and a single mother who had the primary responsibility over the child is as old as humanity itself in virtually every society in history.
  • Anonymo... Horace 2012/07/06 10:24:08
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    But times have changed - adoption, surrogacy, same-sex couples, divorce and remarrying - sometimes a child can have about 6 legal parents, it's mad, and we know everyone has just two parents, but practically, it's a nightmare for someone with six parents to have to choose two.
  • Gracie ... Anonymo... 2012/07/05 23:38:18
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    But they legally had one mother and one father, they would be stunned by the concepts of family today.
  • Anonymo... Gracie ... 2012/07/06 10:27:03
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    But in today's society, where you can have six parents, it isn't feasible, I mean, who decides who out of the two actual parents, the spouse of one of the parents, or the adoptive parents who have overall custody, as is sometimes the case now?
  • Gracie ... Anonymo... 2012/07/06 16:36:16
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    There is a clear cut legal path to follow. My daughter was a step-mother who had no legal right to her step-daughter despite the absence of her birth mother. It took years and a lawyer to get the mother to relinquish her parental rights and then my daughter adopted her. The birth parents are giving enormous amounts of latitude and it's very hard to take away their legal rights. If you add more people to the legal mix, you've got a potential nightmare. What seems like a great idea today is tomorrow's nightmare!
  • jeane Gracie ... 2012/07/05 23:37:27
    It just doesn't get any more stupid than the direction our society and culture is going - DOWNHILL!
  • Gracie ... jeane 2012/07/05 23:45:55
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    Just another attempt to dilute the family and get control of the child's mind.
  • jeane Gracie ... 2012/07/05 23:51:06
    Sadly true my friend.
  • Bigbrowneyes 2012/07/05 21:42:13
    Man, why do I miss these interesting questions?
  • Jana~ u... Bigbrow... 2012/07/05 21:50:43
    Jana~ una chica loca
    only someone who is 24/7 on SH can catch all interesting questions :D
  • Bigbrow... Jana~ u... 2012/07/05 22:07:37
    Eh true. The last one I think I answered though was "do you think Tom Cruise is gay?"

  • Jana~ u... Bigbrow... 2012/07/05 22:11:19
    Jana~ una chica loca
    Lol I missed that one, haven't been here much lately
  • Jola Bigbrow... 2012/07/05 21:51:07
    lol, same.
    I'd have voted "yes", btw.
  • Sister Jean 2012/07/05 21:02:26
  • ☆ Queen... Sister ... 2012/07/05 21:41:57
    ☆ QueenAline

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