Once again I’ve hit a patch of travel and I’m sorry to say this means I cannot be quite so attentive here. My apologies. I do hope to get to comments later today or tonight. As I’m about to dash out the door, though, I wanted to put up something that is really just a very early thought-in-progress.
In reading comments recently I’ve been wondering if there is a different way to frame some of the consistent differences that emerge here. I’m not sure this works–just trying it out for now. It seems to me that for some people there is a right and natural family–man/woman parents who conceived a genetically related child, ideally with no outside assistance. Then other potential family forms are measured against that standard, or perhaps try to get as close to that standard as possible. (Certainly the heterosexual couple using third-party sperm but concealing that fact is trying to get close to that, right?)
But in running this blog I’ve been struck by how wide and varied families are. People raise children in an amazing array of contexts–friends who aren’t partners/lovers, a couple plus the sperm provider or the sperm provider and his partner, people who include their surrogates and so on. Many of them don’t look like the standard marital family, but does this mean they don’t work as well? Of course, results vary specific case to specific case (as it true with marital families) but I don’t think I’d make any presumption that the marital family is the standard against which others should be measured.
Which leads me to my title–I’m thinking there are an infinite variety of ways to raise children and I ‘d focus on what the essential features are that would ensure the well-being of kids. (I do think there are some. I’m a fan of stability, for instance.) I think there’s a different view, though, that there’s a right way and that other ways need to be measured against that.
As I say, just a thought–short and very rough. I’ll give it further thought and try to flesh it out a bit more as I have time.