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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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Opinions

  • Red Branch Kenneth... 2012/07/18 18:32:09
    Red Branch
    Lacking any common sense, precludes someone from knowledgeably answering this question. That being you and your ilk.
    Parents cannot assign responsibility elsewhere.

    Parents may decide their child can be placed in a child sex trafficking network.
  • Kenneth... Red Branch 2012/07/19 07:21:09 (edited)
    Kenneth Huang
    If parents decide to place their child in a sex trafficking network, is that their right as parents? If not, who gets to intervene in that decision, and to what extent can those person(s) decide on what's best for the child?

    Also, who is this "ilk" you refer to?
  • Red Branch Kenneth... 2012/07/30 01:34:46
    Red Branch
    'Ilk' - an archaic Scottish work meaning a group of similar people, in this case those that think like you do.

    It is not their right to place a child in a sex trafficking network. Placing a child in that network constitutes a crime, whether it is the parents doing it or someone who kidnapped that kid.

    There are legal procedures to terminate a parent's rights for cause. Social Services or Child Protection Services are two of the more common titles for the governmental agency tasked with that responsibility.
  • Pam 2012/07/08 09:52:48
    Pam
    +1
    Any young child of divorced and remarried parents have more than one parent. Blood doesn't make the parent.
  • Live Fr... Pam 2012/07/08 16:39:59
    Live Free Or Die
    +1
    No, but blood does matter.
  • Playerazzi 2012/07/08 09:06:05
    Playerazzi
    +2
    A child should have TWO parents. Sometimes things happens, and he only gets one, and sometimes it's worse and he gets none.

    But no more than two.

    If a third person feels that he or she needs or should be the child's parent, then there is always adoption as an option, but one of the other parents should be removed from the equation.
  • Live Fr... Playerazzi 2012/07/08 16:30:45
    Live Free Or Die
    I had more than two, but my step-dad and mother broke up too. Giving step-parents automatic equal rights to biological parents would be a mistake, I believe. There are parents who don't have the biological drive to protect their own, but the vast majority do. I can see it now, the ganging up of family against family in the Courts. There are cases where a step-parent should have visitation rights and/or custody, but God knows if they aren't fit or want to attack the non-custodial parent, there will be HUGE problems going forward with this.
  • Nam Era Vet #1 DNA TLC 2012/07/08 05:10:22 (edited)
    Nam Era Vet #1 DNA TLC
    I would have hated that as a child. Plus there are tremendous legal issues at stake.
  • Andrea 2012/07/08 00:51:08
    Andrea
    +1
    I grew up with 4 parents. A biological mother and father, and a step mother and father. I grew up just fine.
  • Hot Wheels 2012/07/07 20:55:46
    Hot Wheels
    +4
    Sorry but this is stupid. I am happy with just one set of parents.
  • Resp 2012/07/07 18:22:26
    Resp
    Listen, don't you just hate it when you are in bed with 3 women and the least attractive always says... uh... nevermind.
  • Mellow 2012/07/07 16:26:25
    Mellow
    +2
    I have 3 mothers. My mom, my grandma, and my foster mom. All three had legal custody of me at one point.

    I think by allowing it it actually does keep the governments nose further out of our business? It then become each individual families choice, so I am not seeing what the argument is there... but I am not sure if from legal standpoints that it would make things easier. So I am torn.
  • Tuna 2012/07/07 16:03:12
    Tuna
    +4
    A bi-product of the Gay Rights agenda, no doubt. Redefine marriage, redefine parenthood, hell redefine kids for that matter. militant gays
  • JessyBear 2012/07/07 14:39:06
    JessyBear
    +6
    Leave it to CA to try and f things up even more. Amazing
  • Tuna JessyBear 2012/07/07 16:35:33
    Tuna
    +1
    How many people per day is it bailing out of that State?
  • JessyBear Tuna 2012/07/08 17:17:10
    JessyBear
    +1
    The people that know how to work and run business are bailing out
  • Tuna JessyBear 2012/07/08 22:00:50
    Tuna
    +1
    Gonna bein trouble without them.
  • ticlo7 2012/07/07 09:13:33
    ticlo7
    If it brings no harm to the child, does it really matter? Nobody can control what happens in another family, it's their decision and their's only. If things started becomming abusive or harming a paticular member, then it becomes a problem.
  • JessyBear ticlo7 2012/07/07 14:40:29
    JessyBear
    +4
    How about the governement stays out of the family and stops trying to destroy it.
  • ticlo7 JessyBear 2012/07/08 09:25:11
    ticlo7
    +1
    Agreed, though I doubt that that'll ever happen, unfortunately.
  • ladyjane 2012/07/07 07:33:15
    ladyjane
    +5
    From the looks of the picture it kind of looks like a man with two wives? My answer is NO.
  • Mellow ladyjane 2012/07/07 16:28:23
    Mellow
    +2
    That doesn't bother me any... as long as there is no abuse going on, I do not care. None of my business.
  • ladyjane Mellow 2012/07/07 20:18:03
    ladyjane
    +3
    Having one wife is the American way of doing business - having two or more may be the Muslim way of doing things. It doesn't fit into the way we live in the United States. Don't be so quick to let American laws be over-turned. It may affect you or your children down the line.
  • Mellow ladyjane 2012/07/07 23:33:53
    Mellow
    What the hell does Muslims have to do with anything? Mormons did it for years, other religions also do it... Poligamy happens in the US more then you think. Aside from that, this thread is not about being Polyamorus, it is about how many people can be listed as a parent.
  • ladyjane Mellow 2012/07/08 03:07:09
    ladyjane
    +1
    Okay - ONE MOTHER - ONE FATHER... That's all anyone ever gets - like it or not!
  • ticlo7 ladyjane 2012/07/08 09:27:07
    ticlo7
    What about one mother no father? Or no mother one father? Because that's not any worse than having three parents...
  • Red Branch ticlo7 2012/07/08 15:33:14
    Red Branch
    +2
    There are still 2 parents and whether one or both are in the child's life. For one reason or another, a parent can be legally removed from a child's life, but that does not make a case for more than 2.
  • Live Fr... Red Branch 2012/07/08 16:36:24
    Live Free Or Die
    +1
    If parents divorce and split custody and the custodial parent loses their rights, I think it's wrong for the Courts not to give any visitation rights to the step-parent in a few cases. That child's step-parent may be the only father/mother they know. But this should be handled on an individual basis, not some broad-based law that gives step-parents automatic rights equal to biological parents.
  • Red Branch Live Fr... 2012/07/08 18:21:22
    Red Branch
    +1
    Grandparents do not have a right to see their grandchildren.
  • ladyjane Red Branch 2012/07/08 19:06:07
    ladyjane
    +3
    Do you have any idea how many grandparents are raising their grandchildren? More than you can even guess! Grandparents do have a place in their grand-childrens lives.
  • Live Fr... ladyjane 2012/07/08 19:58:14
    Live Free Or Die
    +1
    Of course they have a place in their children's lives and many of them take care of their grandchildren, as do aunts and uncles. They step in when it's needed to help.
  • Red Branch ladyjane 2012/07/08 21:41:46
    Red Branch
    +2
    As a grand parent, I believe I have a place in the lives of my grandchildren.
    However, there have been a couple of cases where grand parents sued to gain access to their grand children and they lost both cases. When I say access, I mean nothing more than simple visitation.
    I don't agree with it, I just stated the facts.
  • Mellow ladyjane 2012/07/11 17:27:38
    Mellow
    +1
    Exactly my point. My grandmother raised me for my first 12 years of life. She was one of my parents.
  • Live Fr... Red Branch 2012/07/08 19:50:02
    Live Free Or Die
    +2
    I guess in liberal California they would have equal custody rights to biological parents without question. Crazy.
  • ladyjane Live Fr... 2012/07/08 19:02:23
    ladyjane
    +2
    Most step-parents have children of their own and do blend their step children into the family - but there isn't and never could be the tie between them and step children that they have with their own children.
  • Live Fr... ladyjane 2012/07/08 19:50:41
    Live Free Or Die
    +2
    I agree, in most cases that's very true.
  • ticlo7 Red Branch 2012/07/09 16:45:15
    ticlo7
    ...That makes no sense. There are 2 parents...so what? The child can be abandoned by both parents, but by your logic there's still two parents to it's alright. Just no. At least try to think of this from a child's point of view. As a young teenager myself I'd rather have 3 parents then one or none.
  • Red Branch ticlo7 2012/07/09 17:09:11
    Red Branch
    +1
    Someone has to make decisions concerning the upbringing and well being of a child and that is the responsibility of the parents. Parents sometimes have differences of opinion in the best way to raise their child, but at least there are 2 options here. If you add a third adult (additional parent), you could have 3 opinions on what should be done. More involved adults bring more opportunities for conflict.

    Responsible parents do not abandon their children. Responsible parents make arrangements to provide for their children should something happen to them. Yes, it is true, that all parents are not responsible and that is where child protective services or other relatives can step in to help out or even take over.

    Children sometimes kind of chose an adult to fill a void in their life. A the parent of a friend would be a good example. That adult can help out to a certain degree but it would be an informal type of help because she would have no control over their child's friend.

    As a parent, I would not have wanted anyone else making decisions about my children.
  • Red Branch ticlo7 2012/07/09 17:19:27
    Red Branch
    +1
    I have advised or mentored children across the years and I hope it helped.

    This is something I heard about my uncle after he died.
    A woman/mother died and her husband became an alcoholic and basically lost the ability to be a parent. The mother's sister left the convent to raise her nieces and nephews. My uncle stopped by and fixed things around the house, bought groceries, and gave them some money.

    The above story was relayed to me by my cousin, his daughter. The next story may involve the same family or it may not. My cousin told me that at the wake the class hoodlum came up to her with tears in his eyes and said, "that if it had not been for her dad he would be dead or in prison".

    This is a recent story out of the news. A pair of drug addicts had a daughter who was pretty much left to fend for herself. Because they did not pay the bills she was often taking all her showers at the school or camp grounds. Toward the end of her high school years, they moved one day while she was in school. She was given a job at the school so she could earn some money, a janitor's family let her move in. The teachers gave her money for various expenses and what not. She graduated and gained admittance to Harvard.

    There are people that will be there for you should the need arise, no matter what the need would be.
  • ticlo7 Red Branch 2012/07/09 19:21:58
    ticlo7
    Of course there are always people there to help. Although some children may not be as lucky and have to work things out themselves, there's normally somebody that can help.

    However, that still doesn't justify a reason for not having 3 parents. What is one parent was mentally ill or disabled? Another can help out the first parent and help the child, since things like that can take their toll on the child.

    And, talking from a child's point of view again, sometimes people THINK they know what exactely the child wants, but in reality just ignore their realy wants. If the third parents has a similar bonding with the child as the other two, then you can't just take the third parent away. Biology doesn't always need to be the dictating factor in this, it should be the relationships and the child's wants and need.

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