Tuesday, March 3, 2009

On the N.S.W. Upper House Inquiry into same-sex adoption: public hearing transcripts


Let’s now look at the transcripts for the two day of public hearings, held last Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m mostly just going to quote portions from here and there in order to make a few points, so I’m afraid this might seem a bit disjointed. I’ll begin by drawing your attention to this interesting portion of an exchange between a (pro-family) Labor member of the Inquiry, The Hon. Greg Donnelly, M.L.C. and Mr. Rod Best, the Director of the Department of Legal Services, Department of Community Services:

The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: Perhaps I might conclude with this comment because I am conscious of the time. In 2004 the American College of Paediatricians issued a statement with respect to homosexual parenting. I will not read the whole statement read to conclusion. It is not a statement, but the research data and concludes:
The research literature on child-rearing by homosexual parents is limited.
I will interpolate that between 2004 and now, I think the reality is things are pretty much the same. There is not a lot of literature. Would you agree to that?
Mr BEST: I would certainly agree to that.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: There is very limited literature out there in terms of the effect of children being raised in homosexual families.
Mr BEST: And of the literature there is, it is unclear as to whether it has had appropriate control groups and whether it has been a sufficient number.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: That is true.
Mr BEST: So not only is the literature limited, but also it is of limited use in terms of its scientific basis.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: That is correct. In fact there was a fair bit of critiquing being done about the validity of many of those research projects. The article goes on to state:
The environment in which children are reared is absolutely critical to their development. Given the current body of research the American College of Paediatricians believes it is inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on homosexual parenting whether by adoption, foster care or by reproductive manipulation. This position is rooted in the best available science.
It is a very definitive statement by the American College of Paediatricians. Are such clear statements made by organisations like that, which obviously specialise in looking at the best interests of the child, matters that come before the department in terms of influencing its thinking on the arrangements with respect to adoption?
Mr BEST: Clearly, they do—just as does, similarly, the statement by the American Psychological Association, which has a membership of some 50,000 psychologists and which also brought down a report in 2004. It says that that association opposes any discrimination based on sexual orientation. Their department's position is that that is why we welcome this inquiry: the literature is there on both sides. The literature which is there on both sides is not easy to understand or apply. We are hoping that this inquiry will assist in that regard.
pp. 14-15

So a dispassionate civil servant acknowledges unambiguously that the weight of scientific research is by no means fully behind the pro-gay-adoption case.

I also found interesting the interrogation by the Greens member of the Committee, Ms Sylvia Hale M.L.C. of a representative of Anglicare:

Ms SYLVIA HALE: What I find curious is that you are prepared when it comes to adopting a child to say persuasion could be irrelevant, all other things being equal, but when it comes to what is your position in relation to adoption by same-sex couples, according to your summary in part six you say that this is an authentic and fundamental issue of religious belief, and it goes on to say that it is Christian belief. In assessing your approach to this issue, it is dominated by your religious convictions, but when it comes to placing a child, that is not an absolutely fundamental requirement. I just find that a bit of an imbalance.
Ms WEST: I do not experience it as a conflict of interest. What we do is profoundly child focused. What we are really looking to do is place a child, having had a thorough background provided by their birth parent or parents, with a family that we feel—or, in our assessment, more to the point—will best meet that child's needs. For example, we would work with birth parents who may not declare any particular religious persuasion, but specifically because birth parent requests are considered. We cannot always meet them, but they are considered for placement. We will work with parents who say unequivocally that they do not wish their child to be placed in a church-attending or Bible-believing family, but then by the same token we work with birth parents who specify that they would like their child placed with a Christian family.
p. 31

This notion of an inconsistency between, on the one hand, being willing to place children with parents who disagree with an adoption agency’s religious beliefs while, on the other hand, refusing to place them with same-sex couples is something that Ms Hale pursued with Mr. Christopher Meney from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney; it can be refuted in a couple of ways. The first way is to note that two wrongs do not make a right, and it’s better to be inconsistently good than to be consistently bad. The second is to note that family structure pertains to natural reason, whereas the faith beliefs of the members of that structure pertain to Revelation. It seems to me that one can appeal to the principle of double effect here: by placing a child in a (natural, mother-and-father) family of a different religious denomination the adoption agency abides by the natural law while merely permitting the undesirable effect of the child being brought up in a different denomination (which will be the lesser evil if there are no alternative potential adoptive parents belonging to the agency’s own religious denomination). But one can never do what is intrinsically evil, even if one imagines procuring a greater good thereby, and putting a child in a pseudo-family whose fundamental structure defies the natural law seems to me to intrinsically evil. I would be interested to here readers’ thoughts on this apparent inconsistency.

I found the following extract interesting for its affirmation of the particular importance of fatherhood and motherhood rather than mere ‘co-parenthood’:

The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: Professor Kim Oates, who was the Chief Executive Officer of the Children's' Hospital at Westmead and a team of professionals from that hospital produced a publication in 2005 titled "The complete parenting guide: caring for the young child from toddler to teenager". The research was overseen by Professor Oates. A section of that publication deals with mothering and fathering, and it states:
But modern fathers are more involved with their children than fathers of many previous generations were and are able to offer their children their particular gifts.
The sentence I was you to focus on states:
The importance of a father's contribution to his children's health and wellbeing should never be underestimated.
Here we have an expert, the chief executive officer of the Westmead Hospital, and a number of professional experts from that hospital acknowledging what appears to be a fundamental importance of fathers and fatherhood in the raising and raring of children. They say that it "should never be underestimated". From your experience over many years of facilitating adoptions of children in New South Wales, do you agree with that statement?
Ms PALMER: Yes, I agree with that.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: Can one simply turn it around and say the same with respect to mothers and children with regard to the fundamental importance of having a mother with respect to the raising and rearing of a child?
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: There is a fundamental complementarity between those two.
Ms WEST: That is the important thing: the fundamental complementarity and that both sexes bring something different to parenting that we in our practice value but also see in good outcomes for children.
pp. 33-34

Now I come to the interrogation of Mr. Meney. The following extract from his opening remarks provides an excellent summary of the case against same-sex adoption:

The reality is that birth parents choose the adoptive parents and they unequivocally choose adoptive parents in stable heterosexual family situations. Considering legislative change, without a body of longitudinal research to understand its full implication and without any obvious need, is not warranted nor is it in a child's best interest. There is significant evidence to support adoptive children being placed with married couples when such couples are available and willing to welcome these children. Married couples tend to place a high value oncommitment and fidelity, which provides a safe and loving environment to children. Empirical studies, as well as the wealth of our collective human experience, has shown a distinctive—and distinctively valuable—benefitthat women give to children as mothers and men to them as fathers.
Every society before our own has privileged heterosexual marriage as the place for the upbringing of children because this has been sought and found to be the best situation for all concerned. To propose alternative models of family and parenting is to be willing to experiment on children not for their own benefit, and to be willing to dispense with the accumulated wisdom and experience of millennia. Some experts and professional associations have claimed equivalence between married heterosexual parenting and same-sex couples, but this claim remains unproven. The studies to date have generally been undertaken by same-sex parenting advocates and they all suffer from serious methodological problems.
In a review of 14 studies of homosexual parenting, Belcastro et al reported that:
All of the studies lacked external validity. The conclusion that there are no significant differences in children raised by lesbian mothers versus heterosexual mothers is not supported by the published research database.
Lerner and Nagai, in the 49 empirical studies that they reviewed, concluded:
The methods used in these studies is so flawed that these studies prove nothing. Therefore they should not be used in legal cases to make any argument about "homosexual" versus "heterosexual" parenting.
Professor Nock before the Attorney General of Canada said:
Through this analysis I draw my conclusions that all the articles I reviewed contained at least one fatal flaw of design or execution, and not a single one of those studies was conducted according to general accepted standards of scientific research.
A 2003 paper from the Australian Institute of Family Studies confirms the lack of evidence: Much of the available research has involved small, unrepresentative samples that are predominantly well educated, middle class and American. The degree, to which results reflect sampling biases of the research, and their applicability in the Australian context, are thus difficult to evaluate.
It would be unwarranted and deeply unfair to place children in same-sex parenting situations when its equivalence with married heterosexual parenting has not yet been established and the evidence base is so lacking, particularly with respect to longitudinal studies.
p. 37

I thought that Mr. Meney handled the following question particularly deftly:

The Hon. JOHN AJAKA: If you take the situation of a Supreme Court judge or a High Court judge in a long-term gay relationship, are we seriously saying that that person could never be a fit and proper person, in the best interests of a child, to adopt?
Mr MENEY: We are seriously saying that, no matter how committed that couple are to one another, they could never mother that child, and to place a child in that circumstance would be an injustice to that child.
p. 43

Ms Hale brought up the alleged inconsistency that I mentioned earlier:

Ms SYLVIA HALE: You say on page 2, and you repeated it earlier today, that Catholic Care's adoption service is available to all potential birth parents and adoptive parents regardless of race, faith and/or creed and it is then summed up in a vision statement. Does this mean that at the moment Catholic Care would be quite happy to facilitate adoption by a couple that practised birth control, or were not married or who disputed such doctrines as papal infallibility? Would those religious beliefs impact on whether Catholic Care proceeded with an adoption?
Mr MENEY: They are not the sorts of things that are normally part of the discussion process between adoptive parents and the agency.
Ms SYLVIA HALE: You say they are not normally part of the discussion process yet you say they are matters of fundamental belief that are sufficiently important in the UK to prevent agencies participating in the process. Here in Australia you turn a blind eye to them because you say it is in the best interests of the child that they be adopted. It just seems to me there is something of an inconsistency.
Mr MENEY: I think you are comparing apples with oranges when you talk about what happens in the UK because there is an inability to comply with the law and so they had to withdraw their services from an area.
Ms SYLVIA HALE: But if the law were to change here and no religious exemption applied you would be facing the same situation.
Mr MENEY: A similar situation, yes, that is correct.
Ms SYLVIA HALE: I am trying to ask how you would respond in the light of your apparent not taking into account fundamental issues of belief when you are facilitating the adoption process through Catholic Care at the moment.
Mr MENEY: There are a whole range of things that the Catholic Church holds to be true and important and many things about how people should live their lives and be able to flourish as persons, but we do not advocate that they necessarily be mandated under the law.
Ms SYLVIA HALE: So why do you select whether a couple is gay or not as the absolute stumbling block?
Mr MENEY: It is not the absolute stumbling block. It is one item that directly relates to ensuring that the best interests of a child in terms of ability to flourish as a person are always taken care of. We believe that the situation that most enables that to happen is the placement of a child with a married couple who are committed to one another for life and that to place a child who is in an extremely vulnerable situation in another arrangement that is different from that is not doing justice to that child. So we are unable to embark on that process because we would see that as an unjust process that is not in the interests of the child.

Then Ms Hale starts talking about what it means to be a man or a woman:

Ms SYLVIA HALE: So to you the gender of the parties is more important than the commitment or the quality of the commitment between the parties?
Mr MENEY: What is most important is the ability of the parties to deliver what is in the interests of the child in terms of the ability to provide a mother and a father and to enable mothers to mother and fathers to father. I think it is a long stretch to suggest that fathers can mother or that mothers can father, and that is where the child's best interests are going to be compromised in that situation.
Ms SYLVIA HALE: Do you have philosophically a conception of what is the quintessential mother and what is the quintessential father and never the twain shall meet? My understanding is that human sexuality
is more or less along a spectrum and that people at either end of the spectrum share qualities with people at the other end of the spectrum and it is impossible to say that this is a mother, other than biologically having had a child, and this is a father. How do you distinguish between the mother and the father?
Mr MENEY: I think there are substantial differences between men and women. I think what men can offer as fathers in terms of their ability and their influence on children are well documented in the evidence, and I have represented some of those in the report. Similarly, mothers raising children and caring for infants and how they respond to difficult times. The nature of sexuality being some sort of continuous spectrum is a much put about notion but one which is ideologically driven. There are certainly circumstances in which people may have attributes of either sex but that is not the case where you have a continuous spectrum of sexuality as such.
p. 40

But if I were Mr. Meney I would simply have turned the question back on Ms Hale and said “Well you tell me, Ms Hale, you belong to the Greens, you’re a big supporter of so-called ‘sex affirmation (!) surgury’; if there’s no big difference between men and women and their respective attributes then why do you support the government funding people to undergo operations for giving them bodies that match their own perceived attributes? If someone thinks that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body, then on what basis does he make this judgment if gender is just one big spectrum and there’s no such thing as masculinity and femininity?” Admittedly though, some of the pro-family speakers were vague about precisely why it is that fatherhood and motherhood—as complements, not substitutes—are of such great importance.

Mr. Donnelly went on to help Mr. Meney with the following questions, reiterating the importance of fatherhood and motherhood:

The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: In your testimony you refer to fathering and mothering of a child as being important, not just in the context of the doctrines and the views of the Catholic Church but—and this is where they are not at odds with each other—the social science of mothering and fathering and what that social science shows us. I would like to take you to a quote from Michael Lamb, who is recognized internationally as the pre-eminent expert on the role of fathers. I want to specifically quote from the fourth edition of his well known book The Role of Fathers in Child Development. Dr Lamb says:
Now that researchers have amassed a solid body of evidence regarding the benefits of positive father involvement for children's wellbeing, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers are eager to link scientific findings to initiatives and programs designed to enhance and support a commitment of fathers to their young children.
What Michael Lamb is saying there is that there is a wealth of information about the role of fathers and the positive contribution that fathers make to the wellbeing of the development and rearing of children. In the research that you have done in looking at this area, is that statement consistent with what you have seen as to the role of fathers?
Mr MENEY: I do not think there would be an academic body anywhere in the world now that would seriously debate that fathers are not vital in terms of outcomes for kids. I think all the sociological effects if
you look at what happens in urban environments, rural environments, the outcomes for kids as a result of not having fathers in the home indicate that that is against their best interests; they do worse on a whole range of parameters. Granted, much of that research is looking at heterosexual family situations which have broken up, or fathers who have not assumed their responsibilities as fathers to raise their children and have walked away from them. But the absence of the father figure has a deleterious effect on outcomes for kids.
The Hon. JOHN AJAKA: Would the same apply to the mother? When one looks at same-sex adoption, one is also looking at two men adopting a child. Would your views be the same in relation to the female mother component not being present in the relationship?
Mr MENEY: The contributions of mothers and fathers are both vital, but the effects that result from not having a mother are different from the effects that result from not having a father.
p. 42

An example of a speaker who stumbled when explaining the importance of fatherhood and motherhood was Mr. Damien Tudehope from Family Voice Australia; fortunately, though, Mr. Donnelly came to his aid:

The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: Thank you for coming today to provide additional information to this inquiry. At this stage I do not want to specifically question you on your submission, but I take you to a couple of statements I would like you to respond to because they deal with the issue that you were endeavouring to grapple with in your discussion with Ms Hale. I refer to some commentary by Dr William Pollock, the Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. It is a secular university. This is not a case of religious ideology, religious perspective, coming to bear; this is a clinical professor at a secular university. His well-known book was published in 1999. Chapter 6 deals with the issue of fathers and sons and the relationship between the two. He started the chapter by referring to the special role of fathers, and the first words are:
Fathers are not male mothers. Interactions between fathers and sons are, as we know, crucially important in a boy's life.
Regarding the comment about fathers not being male mothers, or that fathers are not mothers, from your research does the phrase come up often that researchers comment on in relation to the nature of manhood and fatherhood compared to women and motherhood?
Mr TUDEHOPE: Absolutely. The objective studies relating to it relate to absent fathers arising as a result of breakdown of marriage. A lot of my experience relating to Family Law matters, where fathers become absent and then, in those circumstances, the impact on children arising from that, is that the material would seem to indicate that the effect on those children is that they suffer serious issues relating to their performance at school, there are serious delinquency issues relating to the absence of the father, and generally those children do not do nearly as well as families where the father is present.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: In the chapter "Real Boys", he deals with the issue, for example, of the nature of play and how fathers play with their children differently from the way in which mothers engage with their children.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: It states that with respect to the fathers, play tends to be more vigorous with boys, and forces a boy to learn to read their father's emotions. It is through that exchange of watching how the father reacts to boisterous play that the son learns to understand human emotion. He gives some detail in examining that. Are these the types of subtle matters that you were alluding to in your discussion with Ms Hale? That these things are not completely measurable in specific time, distance or quantity, but rather go to the whole issue of human nature?
Mr TUDEHOPE: I tried to do it badly, I suppose, in relation to the way I read to my children. The example that you used in relation to play is an excellent example. There is no doubt that women play with their children, men play with their children, but they do it in different ways.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: Perhaps I will switch from that example to Dr Bruce Robinson. Once again I am talking about a secular university, the University of Western Australia [UWA]. Dr Robinson heads the Fathering Project at UWA. His book, released last year, was entitled Daughters and their Dads. In that book he looked through 2,000 published articles that deal with the issues of gender, fatherhood and daughters, and more than 40 books. He also conducted research that he converted into the book, including 400 interviews across 15 countries. He examined what came out of those sets of interviews. Under the heading "Why the father/daughter relationship is important" he wrote:
There is an incredible power in the father/daughter relationship, a power which strongly influences a woman's future for good or bad. Girls long for affection and affirmation from their fathers. The influence that fathers have on their daughters is profound and lasts for the whole of their lives and it creates a hole in their lives if it is absent … Many published studies have confirmed the powerful effect that fathers have on daughters with few dissenting voices.
The footnote gives 10 academic references. Would it be consistent with your submission that there is fundamentally a difference in the nature between manhood and womanhood and in terms of that nature when it comes to the rearing and nurturing of a child that really that is the optimal arrangement that the State should continue to honour as the arrangements for the adoption of children in this State?
Mr TUDEHOPE: Absolutely. If you accept that that is the optimal arrangement—and I submit that it is—the position of public policy in relation to the way we deal with and create legislation is that the onus is on us for the benefit of children to create the optimal situation. I put this to you: Assuming that there were competing couples, one a gay couple and one a heterosexual couple, both of whom sought to adopt a child, noone could tell me for one moment that there is not a difference between the two couples. There is a difference. If we are asking what is the difference, it is fundamentally observable that one provides a different model of family than the other. In the interests of the children the best one to choose, and what public policy ought to choose, is to say that the one we would support is the mother and the father role.
What I would like to say is this. I remember in 1975 when we were considering amendments to the Family Law Act all those that were suggesting that divorce had no impact on children, and there were lots of studies that showed that children cope overwhelmingly well with divorce. It was one of the reasons why government pushed a no-fault divorce scheme—it was an adult-centred arrangement. Since then the bulk of evidence has been that divorce is not good the kids. If today we are saying we are going to amend adoption arrangements, are we going to go down the same track and say that same-sex adoptions have no impact on children? Because there is nothing that says that it does not have an impact on children.

Now we move on to Day Two of the public hearings. One of the day’s speakers was none other than Dr. Damien W. Riggs, who identifies himself as

speaking as one of the authors of the Australian Psychological Society's literature review on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parented families, and I speak with their permission.
p. 8

I found his views on questioning the ‘politics’ of research quite interesting:

The Hon. JOHN AJAKA: Please be assured that I am not in any way prejudiced in relation to whether it is a heterosexual couple, a gay couple or a lesbian couple. My paramount consideration is the child. I am a lawyer by occupation, not a scientist or a researcher. I have real difficulty because one group or person talks about one body of evidence that says one complete extreme and then another group or body of evidence gives the other complete extreme; each attacks the other on the basis that their evidence or scientific research is flawed. You are in this area and clearly this is your specialty. Where does someone like me go with this? How do I distinguish between your evidence compared to someone else's?
Dr RIGGS: Thank you, I think it is a wonderful question. I am sorry that we got embroiled earlier talking about scientific methods and scrutiny because that takes us away from the point you raise, which is essentially about the welfare of children. If we look at this as a battle over the ideological positions of two different parties, we need to look at who has the power to have their voice heard the most. The reality is that the dominant position or perhaps the current legislation is the one that is most likely to be holding sway at the moment.
p. 12

I find that incredible; a pro-sodomite academic is the Australian Psychological Society’s semi-official spokesman, and he thinks it’s the anti-sodomite academics who have the upper hand?! Knowing that in fact it is the pro-sodomite forces that are dominant in academia, it is interesting to apply Dr. Riggs’ principles to the research that Dr. Jenni Millbank later cites in favour of gay adoption.

It was good to see Mr. Donnelly notice the relationship between legislating for gay adoption and what will no doubt be future demands for legal recognition for more than two parents per child (Mr. Boers in the following extract is Mr. Paul Boers, Solicitor and Director of Inner City Legal Centre):

The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: Why cannot three adults in New South Wales come together in a unit or a house and describe themselves as being on a domestic basis and that not be acknowledged by the law? What is wrong with that?
Mr BOERS: It can in a way but in what I described as the second-best scenario, if you like.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: That is your opinion.
Mr BOERS: I will give you an example.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: Hang on, that is second best—you speak for yourself—but these two women and this man want to live in a bona fide domestic relationship under the one roof.
Mr BOERS: I have not explained what I meant by the second best scenario. And I think I used that characterisation previously. Prior to the changes to section 60H of the Family Law Act the only way to confer parental responsibility upon a person in a legal vacuum was with parenting orders. The parenting orders is what I mean by the second best offering. It gives you the parental responsibility; it does not make you a legal parent. In cases of the co-parenting arrangement, which you have described, the advice I give is to apply for parenting orders.
I have had situations where I have assessed people in three-way parenting arrangements. Most recently through the legal centre, I had a gay male couple and a single woman, and the three of them agreed to co parent.
They achieved the parental responsibility between the three of them through consent orders made in the Family Court. That was a relatively straightforward process. I would agree, from a legal, technical perspective, with what you are saying with the amendments that you have proposed to the definition. That would confer the status of legal parent amongst all three parties—
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: Which would be important for that family?
Mr BOERS: Yes.
The Hon. JOHN AJAKA: To what age—18 only, or forever?
Mr BOERS: The parental responsibility is exercised until age 18. When a child becomes an adult the parents cease to have authority over the child. The only reservation—maybe that is not the right word—the advice that I give for couples coming to us, or with a donor proposing a three-way arrangement, one thing I always ask is, "Have you had any discussions about how you are going to make the parenting arrangements work? How are you going to exercise that parental responsibility between you? How are you going to make the decisions? I always think it is a good idea that people get counselling to work out all these issues before they go through with a three-way parenting arrangement, because I would imagine that it can get a bit awkward.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: It seems to me that your definition does not go far enough. If what you are saying is that we need to legislate reality, the reality could be two men wanting to live in a domestic relationship with a woman. Why should not that relationship be recognised in law, if that is the reality?
Mr BOERS: I agree. I must confess, I was not expecting this angle. But I do not disagree with what you are saying.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: That is consistent with the legal positivist view you put forward: that we legislate to reflect the reality? That is essentially your submission, is it not?
Mr BOERS: That is right.
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: That being the case—that the notion of best interest debate and paramountcy is superfluous in some sense, in that arguably that debate should happen before we look at thisissue—what you are doing is that you are taking a positivist view of saying we should reflect reality in the law and superimposing on that the discussion about the best interest, so you get a fit. In effect, that is what you are doing. The best interest debate should be taking place prior to, and looking at properly and objectively, the competing views about what is in the best interests of the child: looking at the laws, looking at sociology, looking at psychology, looking at psychiatry—the very best information we can get to establish what is in the best interests of the child.
Mr BOERS: But is that not always going to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis?
The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: But as members of Parliament what we are challenged to do in this inquiry is to look not at individual cases but at the law of the State, which applies to the whole of New South Wales. So we are not legislating for individuals.
pp. 25-26

Note also the important point that Parliament deals, not with individual cases, but with the law of the whole State.

I’ll finish with a quotation from a lesbian ‘co-parent’, Ms Tanya Sale:

Ms SALE: I think it has to be understood here that we are not anti-men. Trust me, we love them, but just not to marry them. We understand the importance of having a male in the children's lives. They are not surrounded by a mad bunch of females. There is a beautiful mixture here. A male is very important—we believe that—and that is why we have male role models in the children's lives.
p. 71

This is more evidence for my fundamental principle here: given that it is important that children have male role models (and, in the case of male ‘co-parents’, female role models), why not aim for the family structure that incorporates this need into its very foundation?

Reginaldvs Cantvar
4.III.2009 A.D.

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