The blended family is the signature dish of contemporary society. Indeed, we must be getting close to the point where step-families are actually the norm. Perhaps in another couple of generations people will look at nuclear families like we currently look at virgin brides - a harmless anachronism.
I for one would be sad to see the nuclear family go though. And there is a degree of species shame. You’d have thought if swans could pull it off we could. Surely, it would be better for people to stick together for the duration.
What matter 50 years of bitter silence, laced with the occasional poisoning fantasy, when you’re producing social stability.
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Yet again organised religions are demanding special treatment which cannot be justified by rational argument.
What are their reasons for declaring same-sex-orientated people unsuitable to be foster parents?
One can only imagine it is their own disgraceful priestly and orphanage experiences that have brought them to this view, because the facts tell a different story.
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For reasons beyond their control there are children, indeed babies, who find themselves in circumstances where the state is their legal guardian. It is not the choice of the child nor is it a new phenomenon. Seeing them as particularly vulnerable, societies have taken great care to look after such children, especially if they have neither a mother nor father.
Without a biological mother or father or suitable family member or relative, the state has deemed it in the best interest of the child to be raised by a woman and a man, a mother and a father in a permanent relationship.
New South Wales has had responsible government since 1856 - over 150 years. Over that period, governments of all persuasions have acknowledged and supported the general proposition that a child’s best interest is served when that child is raised by a mother and a father. This has been seen, correctly in my view, as a valid principle that has guided our collective decision-making with respect to protecting the wellbeing of children. The principle is underpinned by that profound bond that exists between a child and a mother and a father; a bond that is intrinsically known and understood by all cultures, down the ages for as long as anybody can remember.
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‘It is in the best interests of children to have both a mother and a father’. In a society where marriage, heterosexuality and family are so closely intertwined, such a simple, albeit clichéd, statement would seem uncontroversial.
In fact, the idea of a mother and a father in a married relationship carries such political and cultural currency that it is hard to imagine having children in circumstances that do not fit neatly under the matrimonial rubric.
So how do we then manage to contemplate a family unit that is not only unmarried, but has two mums or two dads?
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First she won the Oscar, then her husband got caught playing away, then she adopted a baby, and now we find out she’s had him circumcised... Sandra Bullock has turned into the answer to every news editors prayers.
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