This is picking up on what I’ve been talking about in a few recent posts and you might just want to read back a bit to get the context and all. While I was thinking about this morning’s post I had something of a realization. I realize this might be more important to me than it is to you, but I’ll take a few moments to explain it anyway.
As I said this morning, one way to understand Utah law is to say that the state has concluded 1) that children to better in homes with married parents and 2) that the advantage to children from being in a two-parent married home is greater than the harm of not being with a genetically related parent plus the harm to the genetically related man from not getting to raise his child. (I didn’t say it quite this way, but I believe this amounts to the same thing I did say.)
Now I don’t like this judgment by the state and neither do many of you. But I’ve been puzzled about what exactly was bothering me. For someone who thinks genetic connection is very important it makes perfect sense that you’d disagree with Utah’s choice. But I’m not that person. As you’ll know if you’ve been reading along, I don’t think genetic connection is all that important. And so if that’s the case, then what is the matter with what Utah does?
I figured out my objection this morning and it’s really why I restated what I had said in a slightly different way. I don’t accept the first premise (what’s labelled “1” above). And that premise–that children do best in married two-parent heterosexual homes–is the basis for moving the child in the first place. So if I don’t accept the premise, then the whole Utah approach becomes problematic.
This doesn’t necessarily answer all the questions–it doesn’t, for example, tell you about what the rights of a man in the position of Manzanares should be. But it does help me understand why I reject Utah’s approach even though I don’t buy the argument about the primacy of genetic connection. And it illustrates a nice point: you can come to the same conclusion as other people (that Utah is wrong here) even if you have completely different sets of assumptions.
I feel so much better now.