I’ve been researching family issues since 1998, and that of straight men turning to in vitro fertilization or surrogacy to have children without a partner is about as rare as they come. But this article wants us to believe that the practice is becoming commonplace (HLN TV, 3/17/15). It’s not. And there are a couple of good reasons why.He is right, it is not going to become commonplace. The guy in the photo had two failures in India before getting a birth in Panama. Very few men will do that sort of thing.
But missing from any of the happy talk is the concept, long known to most people, that children with only a single parent tend to fair far worse than those with two, particularly biological, parents. What’s been studied almost exclusively of course have been single mothers. That’s because there are a lot more of them than single fathers, since it’s so much easier for a woman to produce a child without a partner than it is for a man to do so.Money is not really so important. Public schools are free. The basic needs of food and clothing are quite cheap, and even the poorest families usually have sufficient care in that area. Nannies and private schools are expensive, but not important to success in life.
But there’s no reason to suspect that the outcomes for children of single fathers would be much different than those of single mothers. Yes, single fathers with custody tend to earn more than do single mothers, and money is important when it comes to providing for the needs of children.
I think that there are reasons why single dads might do better than single moms, but I will leave it to the social scientists to report on that.
I am all in favor of kids being reared by their two biological parents, but not one of our 50 states has a law assuring that as a matter of right.
And, just like women, whatever urge men feel to have children without a partner should be resisted. His desire to have a child is understandable, but, starting before he does so, a man needs to put the child’s best interests first. And that may well mean not having one in the first place. Frankly, Dr. Cean looks very much like a man who didn’t get that memo.No, it is a big myth that there are millions of orphans who desperately need parents. Adoptive parents spend years traveling to the other side of the world to find available babies, and there are often problems. We do have an excess of 16yo juvenile delinquents that nobody wants, but they have already missed their chance for decent parenting. Adoption is not an easy answer, and China doesn't want to send its kids to American single dads anyway.
Finally, if a man just can’t manage to live life without a child of his own, why not adopt? I know it’s harder to do if you’re single (there’s a reason for that), but the fact is that the world doesn’t need more people and there are millions upon millions of children who desperately need parents. For them — the children in Chinese orphanages who receive tragically little attention from adults — one parent is indeed better than none.
Whether or not there’s a trend toward single men creating children without long term partners, those who do need to think again about what they’re intending to do. They need to set aside their vanity-driven need to have a child who looks vaguely like them and dial the number for an agency that handles foreign adoptions. Or they could adopt a child out of foster care or one with special needs. There are too many children in the world for those men to spend $100,000 to create a new one of their own without a partner.
American adoptions of overseas kids in only a quarter of what it was 10 years ago. The popular countries, in order, are: China, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Haiti, and South Korea. Russia and Guatemala are not sending us kids anymore. I can understand not wanting to go begging to those countries for their unwanted kids.
I thought that his organization, National Parents Organization, was pretty good about sticking up for dads. But he seems to be falling for the same nonsense about kids needing a mom, and about the Best Interest Of The Child (BIOTCh) overriding the wishes of the parents.
I am also baffled how someone working for a Parents Organization can make an argument about how we have too many people. That is like telling horse breeders that we have too many horses, or telling artists that we have too much art.
I think we do have too many people (and too many horses and artworks). Here in California, our water is being rationed because the state is overrun with immigrants. But I also think that my kids are making the world a better place, and probably most NPO members and readers feel the same way. Maybe I am wrong, but if he really feels that parents should not have kids, he should work for Planned Parenthood instead.
There are autistic people who are unhappy that their major advocacy group views them as a disease to be eliminated. Ouch.
Now I find out that the leading parents rights group thinks something similar about men wanting to have kids.
I hesitated to post this because the NPO has been a leader in lobbying for shared parenting, and has done a lot of good work in that area. I do not want to undermine that. And maybe they would be less politically effective if they were more solidly in favor of parental rights. I have praised them many times. Franklin just posted an excellent article on how CPS uses secrecy to cover up its own incompetence.
I have become pessimistic that the system cannot be reformed. I would love to be proved wrong, but even the parents organizations cannot truly stand up for parental rights.