What constitutes an American family has become a much broader concept in recent decades, expanding to include many more forms than before. Although the nuclear family with a mother, father and several children still exists in many households, other families now see themselves represented in the media and in the law. Same-sex couples have more protections than ever before.
Polyamorous couples may not have had the same incredible, federal wins in recent years that members of the LGBT+ community have had, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t making progress. A committed “throuple” of three gay men in California has already helped challenge the assumption that two parents are the only real option for modern families. Their legal case unfolded in another state, but it could eventually lead to similar cases here in Massachusetts.
The committed throuple wanted all three dads on the birth certificate
It can be hard enough to make a relationship with two people work, so hearing that three people managed to balance the nuanced and delicate relationship they share with one another is incredible, if not inspiring.
Three committed men in California wanted to expand their family to include a child, but they did not want to exclude one member of their committed relationship from legal parental rights. Since no one had ever taken the step before, they took preemptive legal action. Although a judge initially denied their request to have three fathers on the birth certificate, an appeal to a higher court eventually reversed that decision.
Despite happening across the country, this case from a couple of years ago is an important reminder to those in committed polyamorous relationships in Massachusetts that the fight for legal acknowledgment of such relationships has only just begun.
Committed families deserve equal legal protections
Just as gay and lesbian parents sometimes face an uphill battle when trying to adopt or going through divorce court, those polyamorous relationships may experience all kinds of microaggressions and discrimination from adoption agencies and even the state itself.
Polyamorous families with custody issues or other legal concerns, like access to a partner in the hospital or inheritance issues, may find that law does not address their unique needs. They may need to establish precedent here in Massachusetts for their family and families like theirs.