In Canada some three years back, there was a case of three adults who were recognized as legal parents of a Canadian child. The case involved a lesbian couple who wished to have a baby and chose a male friend to be the biological father. The two women requested that the man participate actively in his son’s life, and he agreed. The Canadian Courts ruled that it would be in this child’s best interests to have three legal parents: two mothers and a father.
This ruling may or may not prove to be as beneficial as the Court intended for this particular child, but the decision opens a Pandora’s Box of problems, which are also of direct concern to Malta, now that we have a brand new law recognising and regulating civil unions. This follows immediately after the introduction of divorce in Malta which further tends to compound the problem with civil unions. Imagine a case in which parents divorce and later marry different people, or cohabit with partners of the same sex. If each new spouse applies to adopt his/her stepchild, should such requests for adoption be entertained or facilitated? It could be argued that the more people who share the responsibility and the expense of raising the child, the better, but the situation has the potential for tragedy. The child who nominally belongs to a couple in a civil union may always be seen as the primary responsibility of somebody else. And if these second families break down and each parent and step-parent remarries?
This scenario must be re-examined and revised. Not only does it have the potential to do unprecedented damage to the traditional structures of marriage and the family, but because it breaks the Natural Law. Yes dear Malta, there is a Natural Law.
You see Natural Law in operation when birds and butterflies migrate, without maps, thousands of miles to warmer climes for the winter months, and when they return to the same locations year after year. Each spring, television highlights the swallows, without reference to a calendar, returning to their point of migration. From bees gathering nectar and inadvertently pollinating flowers, to the moon’s sequenced phases, to planets orbiting the sun in predictable patterns at prescribed times, the Natural Law operates automatically, keeping the cosmos, the earth and all life forms on it fulfilling their designated functions and flourishing in doing so.
From time immemorial, the traditional family, wherein a father and mother live together and raise their biological children, has proven to be the most effective method for producing well-adjusted, responsible adults for the next generation. Fathers function as male role model and primary provider for the family, while mothers bear and nurture the children and provide a safe and comfortable home environment for the family. Throughout history, societies which have encouraged this type of family structure have grown and prospered.
It is well known that children from single-parent families face greater challenges growing up than those whose families are intact. Who can even begin to imagine what problems, mental, emotional or sociological, children will be subject to, and who must cope with various conglomerations of parents?
For we break the Natural Law at our peril. Our planet was designed with its many systems in perfect balance and with the ability to be self-sustaining until the end of time. Humanity with its unbridled greed, consumerism and disregard for nature, has put all of creation in imminent peril from global warming and climate change. We have flaunted the Natural Law in this matter, and we and our children and grandchildren will suffer the consequences.
The little Canadian boy with two mothers and a father is now five years old and probably in Kindergarten somewhere in that country. If he were in the same class as your child, or grandchild, how would you explain the difference in his family situation and that of your own young relative? It would be important too, that your explanation could in no way reflect negatively on the child. The poor little gaffer will probably have enough to deal with in the months and years to come. We had better all start planning our home-based family life lessons. If this apocalypse-type scenario is permitted to stand, we will need to deliver them to our children in the near future.