Tag: Parents

Benny on parenting

The last post I did touched on the issue of non-hetero couples having the right to have children.

Nathan suggested that having children has become a right.

Then he asked if parents have the right to raise children as they want.

Addressing the third issue first, current international law and domestic legislation favours the wellbeing of the child over the rights of the parents.

Section 61DA of the Family Law Act (Cth) requires the Court to apply a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interests of the child for the child’s parents to have equal shared parental responsibility for the child (also see s 65DAA). Section 60CA cements the position that the Child’s best interests are paramount when making a parenting order. A child also gets their own representation separate from all other party’s whose primary task is to ensure the child’s best interested are represented.

In my opinion the current ideals are a little weak in recognising a parent’s right to raise their own child. for example, if a child is removed from their parents custody at a young age, say they are given to their father’s parents, and a few years later a mother, now single with the father gone, wants to retrieve custody of the child from the grandparents, the grandparents will have a very strong case to retain custody, on the grounds it is in the best interests of the child (s 65C Family Law Act). This concerns me as I think it may not necessarily lead to a presumption that the best interests of the child would be a longer-term plan focused on returning the child to the parent’s custody, despite the parent’s efforts.

However, back to Nathan’s issues, the legislation doesn’t recognise a parent’s right to do whatever they want with their child. I think to a certain degree the State should put limitations on parenting. Like with most topics, I think a certain level of regulation of parenting is beneficial. I think in this sense, acting in the best interests of the child is the correct approach. However, it should take into consideration where possible the wants of the parents.

So, now onto the bit I think Nathan really wants me to address, evil homosexuals deserve the right to have children?

My basic though process, which I admit I think needs further refinement, is that the State (and international bodies such as the UN, see the Wiki article on rights of a child,  has defined the requirements of parentage, and can further add and vary these requirements. There is nothing in my mind that suggests that homosexual parents would not be in the best interests of the child. Aside from issues that derive from social stigmas, a child with same-sex parents should have as quality an upbringing as any other. So really, the only reason a child with same-sex parents should be at a disadvantage is because of the segment of society who doesn’t believe in this lifestyle and chooses to create difficulties.

Same-sex parents aren’t the enemy to children, or adults. The bad things in this world are violent people, inconsiderate people, people that willingly cause harm or distress to others. Homosexuality does not mean that a person carries these traits. They are not mutually exclusive, but they are also definitely not psychologically attached.

Provided parents provide adequately for their children, that’s where the judgement should end. We should put our efforts into making society more accommodating, rather than reinforcing its limitations.

So I think the problem is not should “non-traditional” couples be allowed to have children, but rather how it should be implemented, as even traditional couples who can’t have children have not found the path to having a family easy. And I guess this leads to Nathan’s last question, is having children a right. I would like to say everyone who deserves children should be able to have them, however I don’t think this is possible, due to if nothing else supply constraints. I think many people think of children as a right to the point that they believe they should be supported in their right to have children, to the point society should subsidise and provide for their right. I do not agree with this. I think, like anything in life, children are something parents should have to work for, and provide for themselves. I do think there are instances where the State can assist, but not to the extent I think many people believe they are entitled to. One area that I think State can assist in is equality in opportunity, and for this reason I find no difficulty supporting consideration of extending the surrogacy laws.


I’ve diagnosed the underlying symptom driving my oversharing antagonism. I don’t actually care, enough, about what’s important in the lives of those people in my Facebook friends list. And the people I do really care about I have enough contact with in real life (not necessarily physically) that I am across their milestones and moments of significance.

This is possibly a failing of mine. And it’s probably, as I suggested in my last comment in that other thread it comes down to a different understanding to the purpose of Facebook (and any social networking). It’s probably my inner pragmatic arrogant male self asserting itself.

I’m still anti-oversharing, but I think I assume everyone sees Facebook as I do – a contact book for casual acquaintances mixed with genuine deep relationships.

If you’ve only got Facebook friends who you are in deep relationship with – then by all means, overshare. Just make sure your privacy settings aren’t publishing your thoughts to the world.

I don’t go to Facebook to maintain deep relationships, there are far better ways to do that. I go there to keep in touch with people, to advertise events, to plug my blog and to organise social activities.

Simone has written a defence of motherly oversharing that closely mirrors Stuss’s. Two great mothers can’t be wrong. My argument is now that they are using the wrong forum to share motherly insights and milestones.

My comment that other workers don’t get to write in depth about their jobs (in most cases) still stands. The fact that it is your job does not make it legitimate sharing fodder.

If you think I am in the circle of friends you’d like to share your intimate, innermost feelings and joys with – then by all means keep sharing. But don’t force that on me (or others).

Status symbols

You know what bothers me about Facebook… some people have annoying statuses. PC World has put together a list of common status update themes.

“English professors claim that there are relatively few distinct story plots, and that every piece of literature is just a retelling of one of those narrative archetypes. I’m convinced that the same is true of the things people write in their Facebook status updates.”

The list captures most of them – including my personal unfavourite – “Too much information” update. This is generally perpetrated by parents (or parents to be). Sorry parents. It’s true. People who aren’t parents (not just married people who aren’t parents…) don’t want to hear about

a) the pain involved in child birth

b) the funny thing your child did the point I was trying to make here is probably better summed up by the rest of the points. I’m fine with amusing stories, just not with the expectation that we love your child as much as you do, and not with funny stories pertaining to items covered by points c) and d).

c) Breastfeeding, toilet training, any other milestones…

d) Your child’s bodily functions

e) Your child related bodily functions

f) Running commentaries on your pregnancy

My other unfavourite is the “Christian” update – the bible verse etc – if it annoys me, and I’m a bona fide bible bashing Christian – imagine what it’s doing to your non-Christian friends. It’s not a witness to anything but your own sense of personal holiness.

Me, I prefer writing boring updates about the cricket or coffee, interspersed with occasional bursts of what I think is wit or insight.

That is all.

Parents can be so cruel

I’m testing out a new “clipping” program that lets you highlight any paragraphs and send them straight to your blog. 

New Zealand has some pretty major issues when it comes to parenting. First smacking was outlawed – and now parents can’t give their kids stupid names. What happened to parental rights?

clipped from www.smh.com.au

A New Zealand judge has ordered a name change for an embarrassed
nine-year-old girl called Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii, a local
newspaper has reported.

Name change for Talula Does The Hula from Hawaii

  blog it