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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
    darlenedoskas1969
    +21
    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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  • Mellow Red Branch 2012/08/02 05:59:45
    Mellow
    +1
    Certainly!
  • JessyBear Mellow 2012/07/08 17:20:11
    JessyBear
    +1
    Nothing I said has anything to do with Chritians - but I think you need to hate someone so you are choosing them. Funny - how that works - those that claim to be free spirtes actual want to control those that have a one.
  • Mellow JessyBear 2012/07/11 18:11:31
    Mellow
    God is a Christian institution and I speak of all denominations from Catholic to Baptist, and no I do not hate Christianity and I never even said that I did nor would I, it has a lot of good points. I get annoyed with some Christians sometimes, your comment above is a good example as to why. Just because I do not want God in my life, does not mean I hate the people who worship him. I am no one to hate anything that people put their faith in. I do not want to control anyone, but I do not want to be controlled either. I do not want to be forced to live my life by other people's belief system, as I would never try to impose my belief system on other people.

    I never claimed to be a free sprite. I like soda but I never said I was one. I think you actually meant spirit?
  • Red Branch JessyBear 2012/07/08 15:35:25
    Red Branch
    +1
    "The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its peoples". - Ashanti proverb.
  • Live Fr... JessyBear 2012/07/08 19:55:07
    Live Free Or Die
    +1
    They care about keeping their jobs, and that's it.
  • Sam LeFay 2012/07/07 02:19:55
    Sam LeFay
    +2
    Non-nuclear families never did a child harm. I have three parents myself.
  • JessyBear Sam LeFay 2012/07/07 14:44:24
    JessyBear
    +1
    Right and wrong should never be based on outcome...
  • Sam LeFay JessyBear 2012/07/09 02:46:15
    Sam LeFay
    Then what do you think they are based on? How do you determine right and wrong?
  • JessyBear Sam LeFay 2012/07/10 21:24:19
    JessyBear
    +1
    Start with the 10 commandments.. go from there
  • ella Sam LeFay 2012/07/07 17:06:07
    ella
    +4
    SICK society create SICK people. Good business for mental institution. Why not 10000 Parents????
  • Sam LeFay ella 2012/07/09 02:43:12
    Sam LeFay
    If you're calling me sick, I must say I am a little offended.
    Though I haven't the slightest clue of what you are trying to say to me, so I will take this comment and its raves with a grain of salt.
  • ella 2012/07/07 02:13:43
    ella
    +5
    people smarter than animals??? right??? but we going back to be Primitive. People whats happening to you??? where is your dignaty ??? where is your ethics ????
    I am shame of "YOU ............America
  • Wulfdane 2012/07/07 02:02:40 (edited)
    Wulfdane
    +2
    Divorces and custody battles already cost society billions, no need to burden our aleady deluged legal system even more.

    This has nothing to do with gay parent(s), as I have no problem with that. However custody/guardianship should be legally limited to one or two parents.

    The bottom line is, how many parents should a child have? 4? 8? 10? 20? When this so called family falls apart and most will, who gets custody? Visitation?
  • Ginger 2012/07/06 19:50:00
    Ginger
    +3
    Yes ok : one parent , two parent with two women or two men or one man and one woman , more than two parents . In fact , the most important is happiness of the child and not our old opinion.
  • Deborah... Ginger 2012/07/06 21:19:38
    Deborah Donnison
    +2
    Like the saying goes."It takes a town to raise a child". I say, the more parents, the better for the child...that child will become a more well-rounded individual. The child will have the benefit of more than one opinion on everything...maybe that will help to keep the child from becoming a single minded bigot who hates everything... which the U.S. is full of today.
    The child will always have a loving individual to take of them, instead of being dumped in a child care facility because one or two parents have to work just to make ends meet.. If more people were RESPONSIBLE for the child, then maybe the child would be able to excel beyond expectations.
    As Ginger said, the happiness of the child and not our opinion is what matters.

    I could go on, but you get the point.
  • Professor Wizard 2012/07/06 19:31:40
    Professor Wizard
    why not... children of divorced parents have 2 sets of parents in the physical sense! They may as well have it in the legal sense!
  • wgossett99 2012/07/06 19:25:22
    wgossett99
    You can only have two biological parents. That's a given.

    However with so much divorce and remarriage in the world, kids end up having extra parents - stepparents. (Sp?) I personally have no children of my own but I have two stepdaughters and a stepson.
  • RogerCoppock 2012/07/06 18:36:24
    RogerCoppock
    +1
    n addition to the three cases discussed in the article quoted in the original question, there are, or soon will be, other cases of children with more than two parents.

    Bioengineering has already made it possible for a mammal to have more than one father. DNA from one sperm is grafted into another. They are using this technique for animal breeding today. It is probably a short time before this technology will be used on humans to prevent genetic diseases.

    Also, there is the case of surrogate mothers. A fertilized human egg, from a biological father and mother, is implanted into a woman who carries it to term. This child has two mothers and a father. This procedure is in use now.

    So, shouldn't children born of multiple fathers or multiple mothers have a legal status which reflects their biological reality?

    Welcome to the 21st century!
  • angela.... RogerCo... 2012/07/06 22:42:03
  • Riobhca 2012/07/06 17:56:33
    Riobhca
    +4
    What a ridiculous idea. And people wonder why children today are so confused.
  • PetrifiedElephantPoop 2012/07/06 17:36:27
    PetrifiedElephantPoop
    How can this not be proper when we have surrogates that carry embryos to term, legalized adoption and step families. Parents by definition, no longer have to be biological.
  • bmacklowe 2012/07/06 17:08:46
    bmacklowe
    +3
    It's silly! There are legal ways to grant guardianship in the event of a parent's death. You only have two biological parents. If one dies and the other re-marries, then that new parent becomes the step-parent. If both die suddenly, either you have made arrangements for a guardian to adopt the child, or a relative can legally adopt the child. There is no need to form these crazy legal situations that change the dynamic of a family.
  • RogerCo... bmacklowe 2012/07/08 06:18:26
    RogerCoppock
    "You only have two biological parents."

    This is no longer true. See my post above.
  • bmacklowe RogerCo... 2012/07/08 07:26:39
    bmacklowe
    +1
    Using a surrogate doesn't really count. But technically that still only leaves two biological parents, because the egg and sperm only come from two people.
  • RogerCo... bmacklowe 2012/07/08 07:32:12
    RogerCoppock
    +1
    DNA from the surrogate is also found in the children. I believe it hides in the Mitochondria or other organelle.
  • bmacklowe RogerCo... 2012/07/08 07:47:10
    bmacklowe
    +2
    I still think it's silly. Make the surrogate the legal guardian in case of parents death.
  • Eyes See Wide North 2012/07/06 16:08:35
    Eyes See Wide North
    +2
    Controversy is just peoples opinions, 18 years from now when we see one of these children running there own business, were gonna have to accept it the same way so many pricks had to accept they were wrong when we saw great people who grew up with same sex parents.
  • ElementalQuest 2012/07/06 15:34:03
    ElementalQuest
    +1
    I think that it is perfectly okay to have more than two legal parents in the event of complicated relations such as divorce and remarriage, step fathers and mothers, a gay couple using a surrogant mother, or a lesbian couple having a male friend donate sperm and then the three raise the child together. However, using the example of a lesbian couple, the male friend would NOT and should NOT be considered married to either of the two women in any way. This bill should also NOT make having two wives or husbands legal. I'm not quite sure what ways the government will patrol this, but I think the bill should pass, or at least get a few revisions that make things less complicated for us average citizens, and insure that the bill will be able to be sustained once passed.

    Just my $1.50 though...
  • Turn the Tide 2012/07/06 15:15:16
    Turn the Tide
    +2
    Why don't we go one step further and say it's Okay for the State of California to be the parent of all children within the State.

    Of course, California State would say no because all they are doing is trying to save money by having more than 2 parents take care of and pay for the welfare of children within their borders since they are already a big welfare State. They don't care about the Social degradation of the matter to the child or to society.

    In the not so far off future, the California State Government degradation of societal values will backfire, and pretty soon nobody will get married and be responsible for the children they bring into the world. Younger generations will grow up having sex with many partners and let the State take care of the children that result from the act of procreation. The maternal bond between children and their parents will be shortened and/or severed at a rapid rate after these children are born. This will assure Big Government will continue getting Bigger until Socialism and/or Communism is achieved.
  • Sherlock Dog BL - a Gazillion 2012/07/06 14:53:07
  • TheBadOne Sherloc... 2012/07/06 15:56:37
    TheBadOne
    +2
    Heaven's going to be a lonely place if you've condemned everyone to your mental hell.
  • Sherloc... TheBadOne 2012/07/06 17:17:32
  • TheBadOne Sherloc... 2012/07/06 20:48:08
    TheBadOne
    +1
    For as much time as you spent reading my profile, I'm less insulted with what you have to say to me and more insulted I didn't get a friend request.

    I apparently missed the part in Sunday School where calling someone an A-hole, a moron, or a fool were the ways that Jesus would have wanted his followers to live. For this entire time, I thought it was love and forgiveness. Thankfully my path to salvation doesn't lie in you (or any man for that matter) but I wholeheartedly expect we'll be together on the other side. That, or you can pray for the kinda eternity where you're forever alone. I guess that would be Hell, wouldn't it? To each their own, I guess...

    As for the "differences" between the Republicans and Democrats, lets examine the facts:
    - Both are keeping us committed to the Oil wars in the Middle East
    - Both support corporate welfare (Dems use stimulus spending, GOP uses tax breaks that aren't afforded to individuals or small businesses.)
    - Both are committed to the drug war
    - Both want to play the system so "their" forms of energy are given government assistance to be developed (Conventional fuels for the GOP, Alternative fuels for the Dems.)
    - The GOP and it's institutions came up with the "mandate", the Dems put their name on it and claimed it to be their own.
    - Nei...







    For as much time as you spent reading my profile, I'm less insulted with what you have to say to me and more insulted I didn't get a friend request.

    I apparently missed the part in Sunday School where calling someone an A-hole, a moron, or a fool were the ways that Jesus would have wanted his followers to live. For this entire time, I thought it was love and forgiveness. Thankfully my path to salvation doesn't lie in you (or any man for that matter) but I wholeheartedly expect we'll be together on the other side. That, or you can pray for the kinda eternity where you're forever alone. I guess that would be Hell, wouldn't it? To each their own, I guess...

    As for the "differences" between the Republicans and Democrats, lets examine the facts:
    - Both are keeping us committed to the Oil wars in the Middle East
    - Both support corporate welfare (Dems use stimulus spending, GOP uses tax breaks that aren't afforded to individuals or small businesses.)
    - Both are committed to the drug war
    - Both want to play the system so "their" forms of energy are given government assistance to be developed (Conventional fuels for the GOP, Alternative fuels for the Dems.)
    - The GOP and it's institutions came up with the "mandate", the Dems put their name on it and claimed it to be their own.
    - Neither wants to commit to true social justice (GOP believes in the death penalty, Dems believe we aren't responsible enough to own guns.)
    - Neither wants to properly address the on-going war on life (GOP wants to preach ignorance only to watch the ignorance lead to more pregnancies and STDs, Dems want to fund abortions with taxpayer money instead of using their views to drive us toward a pro-adoption society.)
    - Neither have a comprehensive immigration plan that makes sense (GOP wants to build a ridiculously expensive border fence, Dems want sanctuary cities and ridiculously expensive entitlements for people who aren't documented.)

    I really could go on but I have other things to do. From 2001-2008, the Right told me that I had to respect my president or I was a terrorist. From 2009 onward, the Right told me that I had to bash the president or I wasn't patriotic. Your president is your president. Regardless if you voted for him or not, the rest of the constituents did, so either love it or leave it. And if Obama was really a "Socialist Kenyan Muslim Usurper", why is the GOP standing by idly while the Presidency is hijacked by someone who isn't eligible for it?

    I think for myself, so I can't expect everyone to have an individual's sense of reasoning. I'm not being fed by Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, nor am I being fed by MSNBC or Michael Moore. I'm not being fed by any religious institution (well, not anymore anyway) and I'm not being fed by some atheist agenda. The thoughts and feelings I have are a conclusion of my life lessons, and if all anyone can do is call me an idiot without sufficient evidence that can be proven to be accurate, then all they've proven to me is that their argument has failed.

    Two heterosexual parents who've failed to do their duties are not a lesser evil than splitting custody amongst step-parents or surrogates.
    (more)
  • Resp 2012/07/06 14:50:44
    Resp
    +2
    Are all the multiple parents screwing each other?
  • darlenedoskas1969 2012/07/06 14:24:35
    darlenedoskas1969
    +21
    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?
  • OneLast... darlene... 2012/07/06 15:00:18 (edited)
    OneLastWord
    +9
    Good post and GOOD POINT from someone with a life of bad experiences and knowledge.

    The rest of us can shut the f… up.
  • TheBadOne darlene... 2012/07/06 15:54:38
    TheBadOne
    +9
    I want to both say I'm deeply sorry to hear the hell you've gone through and thank you very much for sharing. There's a lot of people who are too caught up in their own fanaticism, fantasies, or fables to understand how something of this nature could help a child.
  • teigan darlene... 2012/07/08 02:27:42
    teigan
    +5
    Thank you for sharing and I'm sorry that your life was so horrible. I can relate to your wish that your step-father had been able to take you. My niece is a horrible parent, her daughters father is not in her life. But she had a wonderful step-father that loved her dearly. When her mother and step-father broke up he went to an attorney to see if it was possible for him to get custody, he was told there was no way he would get custody, even with me testifying for him. He decided it would be easier just to get back together with her so that he could make sure that she was cared for. Her life was no where near what you went through, but I do understand that sometimes a step-parent is the best parent. I glad that you survived your ordeal.
  • Playerazzi darlene... 2012/07/08 09:04:09
    Playerazzi
    +1
    The abuse was the problem. IMO, social services should have taken y'all out of custody of your natural mother AND father, and placed you guys in a good home. They blew it.

    Having three parents would not have solved that situation. It would only have made it worse in your case. Imagine your good step-dad taking you guys in, BUT having to grant visitation rights to your biological mother and father.
  • darlene... Playerazzi 2012/07/08 14:35:34 (edited)
    darlenedoskas1969
    +4
    you're right, abuse was the problem... but when step dad reported it, he was accused of sour grapes BECAUSE HE HAD NO RIGHTS... she even accused him of sexual abuse to discredit him, and despite my denials of abuse from him, and complaints of abuse from her, he didn't have rights, so there was nothing the courts could do...

    it needs to change

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