Can Any Two Adults Raise a Child?
Jim DalyJim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
- 2014 Mar 20
According to some people, you can – and should.
Modamily is a company that helps introduce people with no romantic interests or intentions for the purpose of raising a child together. It’s like a dating website, but instead of looking for love, users are looking for someone they can parent with. Proponents advocate it’s actually a better move for children, because it skips the “divorce nightmare.”
Modamily founder Ivan Fatovic explains: “All a child needs to develop and grow is attention, encouragement and love. A modern family unit can provide that as well a traditional one…” He sees his role as “helping people fulfill their dream of becoming a parent on their own terms.”
In other words, we should throw away the idea of a married mom and dad working together to start and raise a family. At the very least we should make room for an “anything goes” arrangement to parenting.
It won’t surprise you to learn that I strongly disagree with this line of thinking. I’ll give you four reasons why.
1. Fatovic and the others taking part in this “co-parenting movement” (which is different from divorced parents working to raise their children together) seem to overlook the immense amount of work it takes to raise a child together. Most parents talk through every decision – big or small – they make in regards to their child. This type of commitment benefits from an intimate, love-filled covenant with a spouse – not a cold, legal contract with a stranger.
2. Modamily ignores the benefits married parents receive from their sexual bond. The hormones released during sex, like oxytocin, help unite husbands to their wives – and that, in turn, makes parenting easier.
3. Advocates for this arrangement turn their backs on thousands of years of tradition and history, not to mention the mountains of social science research, that tell us kids do best when raised by their married mom and dad. They’re taking a formula that has been proven time and time again and saying that it doesn’t matter… that any two adults armed with a contract will do.
4. And while divorce rates are still far too high, the co-parenting movement seems to have bought into the myth that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. (As an aside, I would note that the rate is even lower among Christians who take their faith seriously.)
The culture has a tendency to introduce novel approaches to marriage and family, each seemingly more outlandish than the one before. Many Christians have a “gut reaction” to stories like these, but some may struggle at times to explain why they don’t agree with the latest trends.
That’s why I’m excited about Focus on the Family’s upcoming documentary, “Irreplaceable,” which will release via a one-night event on May 6 in more than 700 cinemas across the nation.
As “Irreplaceable” host Tim Sisarich explains during the trailer, “Every day in the media, the life choices of my neighbors, even in public policy, I seem to be told that I’ve got it wrong.”
Do we have it wrong? “Irreplaceable” attempts to answer the question by exploring the definition of family and the themes that surround it. It does so by speaking with world-renowned experts – and “real” people who share their stories. It’s a movie that will both challenge your mind and speak to your heart.