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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Know the Tree by the Fruit

There clearly was no deep friendship among the four, a lesbian couple and a gay couple; their association was simply one of utilitarian expedience.  As soon as the relationships experienced a little stress, it fell apart.

They had an arrangement to conceive a child among them. Then they fought over parental rights of the child, much like four collaborating inventors or songwriters would over the rights to their common labors. Yet, it's easy to divide a song or an invention into four equal parts by dividing the revenues it may generate.  It is not so easy to divide a child in that way.

The child is "a product" of a "number of fine people," reasoned the judge in the case. That says it all: The child has no rights because it is property of four people, four people so fine they can't even agree as to what is best for the child and they squabble over him like spoiled brats. He doesn't need to know who all four are and how he came to be; it is more likely that such knowledge will only give him difficulties later in life.

Where is Solomon when you need him?  Solomon at least understood that the real mother of the child would out of love prefer the child be given to the other woman than let him be divided.  Even if Solomon said that one woman should raise the child for half the year and the other woman the other half of the year, the child would still be divided.  This child is split four ways.

Of course, only two the people involved are actually the child's parents.  What happens if the two same-sex couples both split up? This arrangement cannot be good for the child, and all four of the "parents" agree that the child should be split.  Not one has said, "No, do not divide the child but let the others raise him undivided." One could conclude, contrary to what the judge has said, that the child is not "dearly loved" by them -- except insofar as they dearly love their car or computer.

Such things don't happen except in cases of artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and surrogate motherhood.  When was the last time four people argued over visitation rights for a baby born to a married couple who conceived so as to add to their family?

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