The Right to Have Parents

Please check out this article, at First Things, entitled “The Kids Are Not All Right.”

The gist is that a movie has been made depicting the outcome when the children of lesbian couples who conceived by artificial insemination from an anonymous donor encounter their no-longer anonymous dads.

Two things in this situation are clear:

1. The children, whatever their feelings towards the persons who raised them, need not only to know who their fathers are, but need to know, and even be accepted by their fathers. One presumes that if the genders were reversed, they would want to know their mothers, also.

2. The lesbian couples in such situation are often threatened by the potential involvement of the father, find it distasteful, or for some other reason want it not to happen.

It rips a child up not to have the issue of parentage settled and secure on both sides. I don’t have the reference, but if memory serves, there’s evidence to show that children thrive better when a father has died, than when he is merely absent. The former is a tragedy; the latter is an ongoing crime of abandonment or deprivation.

I would like your feedback on the following opinion:

The difficulty here is that we are dealing with an as-yet legally unacknowledged unalienable human right.

Each individual has an unalienable human right to be parented by his or her biological mother and biological father. Each of those two roles may be transferred from a voluntary abdicator to a voluntary recipient through adoption, but if it is not transferred, it is automatically retained and the child has the right to be parented by the occupant of that role.

If a child never receives the parenting of mother or father (biological or adopted) through no-one’s fault, that is a tragedy but not a crime. But if the child is denied the parenting of the mother or the father (not just a mother or father, but their mother or father, through conception or adoption) through the voluntary or neglectful acts of any person, then that person has violated the child’s human rights.

A variety of conclusions derive from this understanding.

For example, sperm donation to lesbian couples should be illegal: There is no man adopting the child, and thus the donor, lesbian couple, and administrators of the donor program are conspiring to deny the child the right to be parented by a father. The admission by a lesbian couple, in the article, that “we wanted [our children] to have 2 parents who were moms only” is an admission that “we wanted to harm and deprive our children.” That they don’t see it this way is a sign of shallowness or disconnectedness-from-reality, but does not alter its factuality.

And it is correct to involve government criminal law in this because the first duty of government is to defend innocent persons against violations of their human rights.

What say you?

Cord Hamrick


Cord Hamrick is a husband and father of three, raised an evangelical Christian in Southern Baptist churches. After years of lurking, questioning, and eventually opining in the Catholic blogosphere, he was received into the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil, 2010. Cord is a sometime church musician, former praise-and-worship bandleader, frequent songwriter and arranger, occasional guitar teacher, and -- because one really must somehow pay the bills -- a developer of web-based software applications. He lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and three kids.

Crisis Magazine Comments Policy

This is a Catholic forum. As such:

  1. All comments must directly address the article. “I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter.” (Matthew 12:36)
  2. No profanity, ad hominems, hot tempers, or racial or religious invectives. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
  3. We will not tolerate heresy, calumny, or attacks upon our Holy Mother Church or Holy Father. “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
  4. Keep it brief. No lengthy rants or block quotes. “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)
  5. If you see a comment that doesn’t meet our standards, please flag it so a moderator may remove it. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1)
  6. All comments may be removed at the moderators’ discretion. “But of that day and hour no one knows…” (Matthew 24:36)
  7. Crisis isn’t responsible for the content of the comments box. Comments do not represent the views of Crisis magazine, its editors, authors, or publishers. “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God… So each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10, 12)