Our world is constantly changing, the lines of social norms are constantly being blurred and challenged be it by globalization or simply an individuals need and access for knowledge. Because of this we see titles and perception being challenged on a daily basis. For example an article recently came out regarding “The Rise of the Three Parent Family” whereby it discusses the increase in conception involving more than just the previously required male and female. Thanks to science a woman can use a viable donor egg and insert her own genetic material paired with her partners sperm in order to fertilize an egg. This is just a small example but it begs the question that we may soon need to challenge the word parent as it is evidently too small a word when we are dealing with blended and divorced families on such a regular rate.
I myself have struggled with what I should call my step dad throughout my adult life. And introducing him to new people is always a bit of a roadblock to me as I have never felt that calling him my step dad even begins to cover the role he plays in my life. Stepdad for many has a negative connotation as does stepmom, and I am hopeful that over time this begins to diminish, in the interim however the challenge still remains. Our terms for family are often shortsighted, and include blood relatives only but I think it’s safe to say that each of us has a non blood person in our lives who is more family than even our closest kin.
This brings me round to my point in that, if I am striving to explore the possibilities of an open relationship where would that put my current family and my future offspring. And what names would they use to call their family and what social pressures would they face for being raised in household that is outside of the norm. I know I cannot plan for everything, but these are questions that I need to ask and answer before I settle down in my not so settled lifestyle.
There was a blog that I used to follow and the woman was poly, going through a divorce and unfortunately lost her children to her ex husband as a result of her lifestyle. You my readers, may have your own opinions about whether this was just or fair, but in the long run it always boils down to what is best for the children. Social stigma about what’s legal and ethical may need to be re-evaluated as I know a lot of children who have been much worse off for the courts choosing one parent over the other to live with just because of the misconception that the mother is 90% of the time the best choice.
There are risks involved in anything, but I think the pursuit of raising the best possible offspring should not be a high risk endeavor. It should be one of love, financial stability and a long term agreement about how the children are to be raised and what values are most important to the parents.