I hope you guys can help me with this: Its really important to me that I adopt children when I want to become a parent. I’m sure adoption policies vary depending on where i adopt from, but if im comitted to a multi-partner relationship could i be barred from adopting? Or if i do adopt successfully, could my children potentially be taken away from me later on if they’re raised in a non-monogamous household?
The short answer, sadly, is yes. There is precedent for biological children being taken away once the family was outed as polyamorous, and adoptive parents are screened heavily and often at the discretion of the adoption agency.
Since polyamory is still seen in the mainstream as a “sexual behavior” and not an orientation or identity (one of my beefs with Dan Savage), many people assume that adults living openly as polyamorous creates an inappropriate environment for children. People think “well, I don’t think it’s healthy for a kid to grow up in a place where adult sexuality is openly on display, like a swinger’s clubhouse or a bdsm dungeon,” not realizing that a multi-parent household is a completely different situation.
If you’ll permit me to get on my soapbox for a bit, this is a huge issue that our generation will face within the next ten years. All the victories won for the gay community - hospital visitation rights, child custody and adoption, health insurance coverage, etc. - must once again be fought for by the poly community. And I don’t think there’s nearly enough activism focused on the legal and social practicalities as there should be.
We ought to be less concerned about whether polyamory is a lifestyle or an orientation, we ought to spend less time arguing about whether poly hetero relationships count as “queer,” we ought to worry less about academic identity politics and more about the real-world challenges faced by people who want to live, love, work, and parent in openly poly relationships.