"Sign Here and Here and Here: Exploring the Legality of Polyamory"
A short piece in an Oregon alternative newspaper describes some issues that poly families can face.
Sign Here and Here and Here: Exploring the Legality of Polyamory
By Lana Jones
...How do poly people navigate parenting, bank accounts, and other everyday family business? Serious poly relationships might involve three, four, or more people that want to share the same rights and responsibilities that spouses or domestic partners would.
Parenting problems might arise because a child can by law only have two people recognized as parents. This is an issue not only for poly families but also divorced parents and step-parents. Multiple parents could be an asset to children though, and the issue may never come up unless there’s a larger problem.
“When there is some sort of problem and the court gets involved,” said Jen [a third-year law student from University of California Hastings], “the court is going to scrutinize poly families very closely.”
In that case, the parents that aren’t legally recognized may not have a say.
“That doesn’t mean that people don’t successfully co-parent, multi-parent all the time,” she said.
Poly families could turn to contracts that approximate marriage or custody. This route is expensive though because the contracts aren’t prefab forms that anyone can complete.
“It’s really a question of how much money you have,” Jen said. “The more affluent you are, the more likely you’ll be able to get your family protected.”
Even if you do get your family protected, there’s no guarantee that your contracts will be recognized. If a member of a poly family is hospitalized, for instance, will the hospital allow multiple visitation rights?
...Despite some of the difficulties associated with being poly, the lifestyle is gaining more recognition and people continue to practice it. Corvallis even has its own poly social group that meets once a month. For more information, visit http://www.meetup.com/The-Corvallis-Poly-Meetup-Group/.
Read the whole article (Feb. 14, 2013).
P.S.: See you at Atlanta Poly Weekend in four weeks! I'll be giving the closing talk.