What Makes Parents “Real”

My thoughts on the significance of biological bonds, here.

4 Comments for “What Makes Parents “Real””

  1. posted by Jorge on

    First I run away from a headline on a mother convicted of killing her child in a horrific way, then I read a blunt statement on child abuse. This isn’t a good day.

    I can’t say I understand much about the biological issue (uhhhh, wait…). My mother makes the point sometimes that no mother who carried and gave birth to someone wants to see any harm come to that child. I think the context was supporting our troops. I’m not sure that explains why fathers make goo goo faces at their babies.

    I think gays have a disadvantage here, and that it can be overcome. It’s not genetics (wait, actually, heredity is noted in social psychology studies to correlate with child abuse, and altruism in animals is consistent with evolutionary theory… bah). Nine months becomes less to overcome over time.

  2. posted by Tom on

    Whether because of evolutionary hardwiring or social conditioning or some complex combination of the two, biological bonds have widespread resonance. … Yes, these bodily connections are important to (many) people. No, it doesn’t follow that non-biological bonds are inferior …

    I’ve raised both biological and non-biological kids. The biological tie makes a difference, in one sense.

    When you come from a large, extended family where you know your kin out to the second/third cousin level, and back a couple of generations, you see all sorts of echoes of behavior in your biological kids, echoes that are missing in the non-biological kids.

    You might understand the biological kids a bit better, more quickly, with less puzzling out, simply because they fit into a network, a matrix, of thought and behavior that you already know. The matrix is missing with non-biological kids, so you have to think more carefully, sometimes, about “What gives, here?”

    But that’s about the difference, I think.

    Our opponents use rhetoric about “real” families as a powerful weapon. Starting with a plausible premise about biological bonds, they then employ a breathtaking series of non-sequiturs to reach false conclusions about marriage and family.

    We all notice, I hope, that our opponents reach those conclusions only about gays and lesbians. I have yet to hear any of them reach similar conclusions about straight parents who adopt and raise non-biological kids. It is just another example of their boundless hypocrisy.

  3. posted by Regan DuCasse on

    It is also a boundless hypocrisy that marriage rests and is only open to those who can and want to have children. As if non parent and parent couples don’t exist, and have equal standing in the law and the state’s interests.
    First of all, those of us without those little deductions help promote and support the general welfare because we DO put in more hours, and our income is taxed more heavily. You’d think that those without children weren’t making a contribution, nor had any other vital talents that matter or that loving and being loved is vital to every human life, whether in marriage or some other form of familial relationship.
    How can anyone believe that excluding gay people from such structures, but not the social responsibility of being a citizen is a healthy thing?
    Whether for individuals or for society at large?
    It’s a good thing that John is close to his sister and his niece and that his niece knows him and has his love. God forbid, but what if something happened and John and hopefully a potential husband of his had to step in and make sure that little girl had the same generation of parents? By who knew her parents the best? I think a lot of anti gay families don’t have a very smart strategy for estranging the gay members of their clans.
    They might be the very difference between a child or elder in the family being cared for by blood at all.

  4. posted by Amicus on

    It appears, at first glance, that what you’ve offered is an analysis of “significance” that is bounded by two options, gay and nongay.

    Perhaps that is what is relevant.

    Of course, the significance of biological-only parenting goes beyond that and, in a wider framework, it is true that most of us (almost all) would judge that some non-biological parenting “bonds” are less valuable.

    I do believe that some of our critics (Blankenhorn) have this wider framework in mind when they criticize things like the court decisions in Canada, for instance. So, it is worthwhile to bring the discussion back to something that can be so obviously bounded, because I really do believe that, in relation to the implication(s) of gay marriage, their concerns on this score are dramatically overblown, even if one shares them.

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