Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

October 2, 2020

Friday Polyamory News Roundup: Kids with multi-parent polyfamilies, a new poly comic, and more

Welcome to Friday Polynews Roundup for October 2, 2020.

This site feels to me like a nook of normalcy in a national hurricane that's likely to get worse in the next five weeks, or, God forbid, six. Moose and I are pledged to Do Our Bit1 to try to help drag America back from the cliff-edge of thuggish authoritarianism. At minimum, we will have something we can say to our someday-grandchildren when they ask us, "What did you do when the Republic was ending?"

So, I may skip a week or two here.

Among other things, I've been handwriting stacks of letters for VoteForward telling registered but spotty voters who are likely to lean Democratic "why I am a voter." I write that it's because
this is our one actual, for-real pull on the levers of power — for whether we will live under decent, humane leaders of good character who will respect us, respect facts and truth, and respect what America is supposed to stand for.  

All those years of saying the Pledge of Allegiance since childhood? It feels like acting now is what we were pledging to do then; we just didn't know it at the time. Please join us.

And now back to the show in progress.


●  Earlier this week I posted about an article in The Atlantic, The Rise of the 3-Parent Family. Several states now fully allow a child to have three legal parents, and this arrangement is attracting increasing notice. A long-term, committed polyfamily is only one of the situations that the option can apply to. 

●  Coincidentally this week, the Paging Dr. Nerdlove advice column addresses, in depth, a multi-parent polyfamily's dilemma: How Do We Tell Our Families We’re Polyamorous? (Sept. 28)

My wife and I have been together for 11 years and have 3 great kids. About three years ago my wife’s friend moved in during a tough spot and never left – we have been a ‘throuple’ ever since and she gave birth about a year ago. After our daughter was born we even had a ceremony and signed a living will to make us all ‘married’.

Here is the issue: She won’t tell her family. They all think we took her in during a rough patch and let her stay after she got knocked up by a dude they have all made up in their minds she was dating. They think it’s cute that she and my wife call me ‘daddy’ when they hand me the baby (‘go to daddy’ etc). My mother and sister know and are, broadly speaking, supportive. My wife’s family adores [her]....

I get that her family is very conservative but I am not comfortable hiding our deal. I am in love with two beautiful women and have great kids. Let’s shout it from the mountaintops or, at least, speak it in conversational tones from a well sized hill.

How do we come out to her family? I’m not comfortable hiding.

...While I can completely understand your wanting to be out, open and proud about your relationships, the truth is that while people are increasingly more aware and accepting of polyamory and ethical non-monogamy, there’re still a lot of legal and social hurdles that can end up causing problems. For example: there’re very few legal protections for someone in a polyamorous relationship. ... Similarly, being poly can — and has — been used against parents in child custody cases in court.

...I bring this up because you mention that your co-wife’s family is very conservative. Right now, they’re cool with their daughter and granddaughter living with you while they think that you and your legal wife are helping their daughter out. If they found out that their daughter was actively sleeping with you and that you are the imaginary dirtbag who knocked up their precious baby….well, that could have any number of repercussions for her… and for the rest of your family. This could range anywhere from kicking your co-wife out of their family to actually challenging the three of you for custody of their granddaughter. While this is, admittedly, one hell of a worst-case scenario, there have been cases where in-laws or grandparents have sued for custody because they discovered that their child was in a poly relationship. And if you live in a state that doesn’t have third-parent adoption laws — which is most of them — the biggest thing keeping your family together would be the judge’s opinion on the matter.

I get that you aren’t comfortable hiding… but this isn’t strictly about your comfort. Your co-wife knows her family best, and if she isn’t comfortable being out to her family, then I think it’s best to respect her wishes. ...

I reached out to my friend and poly relationship expert Dr. Liz Powell, author of Building Open Relationships: Your Hands-On Guide to Swinging, Polyamory, and Beyond! and they recommended that you check out It’s Called “Polyamory”: Coming Out About Your Non-Monogamous Relationships by Tamara Pincus and Rebecca Hiles. This can help give you some tips and talking points to help navigate the process of coming out as poly to your co-wife’s family, and give you some perspective on if, when and how she wants to come out. Dr. Powell also had this to say: “The three of you will need to figure out what she needs to have set in case her family shuns her. Is she financially stable? Does she have a therapist or coach for support? And figure out if her work would fire her if they found out. Some folks can be vindictive.”

My suggestion is that you do your due diligence, TSM, and discuss this as a family. ... However, at the end of the day, I believe the ultimate decision resides with your co-wife.

●  Speaking of multi-parenting and coming out, news also surfaced about Dr. Ian Jenkins's forthcoming autobiography Three Dads and a Baby: Adventures in Modern Parenting. He's part of a very out gay triad in San Diego who set California's legal precedent for tri-parent polyfamilies. This story just appeared in San Diego's Patch newspaper: "Three Dads and a Baby" tells journey of a polyamorous family (Sept. 29). They are the "first polyamorous family to secure 3 names on birth certificate" (at least in the US).

Dr. Ian Jenkins

Meet Ian Jenkins – he's a doctor, living in San Diego, a specialist in hospital medicine and a professor at a major university. He's been with his partner, Alan, for seventeen years. And they've been with their partner, Jeremy, for eight. And they have two biological children – Piper, who is three, and Parker, who is 14 months. ...

...Piper and Parker were conceived with eggs donated by a longtime friend and carried by surrogates. Thereby lies a tale of patience, love, and persistence that broke new legal ground and changed the way California law defines family: Piper was the first child ever to have a poly family listed on a birth certificate, paving the way for her younger brother two years later, and the future children of other polyamorous parents.


The story of how three poly dads, three amazing and giving women, and an intrepid and compassionate team of medical and legal experts built this uniquely wonderful American family, is at the center of Dr. Jenkins' upcoming book. ...

While Ian admits that of course his family is unique, he questions the perspective of people who think that it isn't "normal." "I'm pretty sure it's lifelong monogamy that's weird," he says. "Our culture is filled with all of these stories about longing and infidelity. It's natural for us to feel affections for more than one person. What's exotic is that we actually did it – we made a life many people think of as an unattainable dream, but we're ordinary people otherwise."...

Navigating the endlessly complex and often heartbreaking process of creating life through a series of expensive medical procedures, Three Dads and a Baby shares a whirlwind of a surrogacy journey. ...

...He admits he has been somewhat relieved by the normalcy of their life in the time since his book was completed. The conception and birth of their second child, Parker, was, comparatively, "a breeze." Everything that was so challenging and unique in bringing Piper into the world – getting that third name on the birth certificate, winning over skeptical lawyers and reproductive specialists, creating a parenting agreement – was all effectively in place....

You can preorder it on Amazon. 

●  And attorney Diana Adams posts (Oct. 1), "Thrilled to do an interview for Good Morning America today! Via video from Germany with unicorn slippers on! I spoke as Executive Director of Chosen Family Law Center, Inc. about 3-person co-parenting and the movement for tri-parent adoption! When the airdate is confirmed, I will post about it and certainly post video. Hooray for a major tv platform for family advocacy!" 

●  Australia has a snappy youth-culture online magazine called Pedestrian. Just appearing it, What My Polyamorous, Inner West, Out-Of-Work Actor Housemates Taught Me About Love (Sept. 30). "Inner West" refers to certain suburbs of Sydney. They sound cool.

By Michael Di Iorio

...It wasn’t until I moved into the Inner West that I learnt of its ways, especially after moving in with a polyamorous couple. Specifically, a polyamorous couple who occasionally did medieval roleplay, sung sea shanties and were, for the most part, actors out of work.

...Let me introduce the pair that taught me all about love. My first housemate, who has decided to operate under the pseudonym Wally Weegee, is a bi badass who loves the colour purple, has two cats named Usidore and Dorkus, and identifies as she/her and polyamorous.

My second housemate, who would like to be known as Bo Jangles, used to work on pirate ships, has an affinity for medieval weaponry, and is really damn tall. He identifies as he/him, and polyamorous.

Together the two operated as a dedicated four-person polycule at the time, with each individual sometimes branching off with others here and there.

... So obviously I confided in the people who open up to more than just one partner on a regular basis.

...Here is my first housemate, Wally Weegee.

“When I opened up to polyamory, it was kind of like a light had turned on,” she said.

“I hadn’t changed, but the world around me became so much more open. I was suddenly allowed to be myself, as cliche as it sounds.” ...

“I remember telling you that things can’t happen unless you say them,” Wally told me. “You can’t skirt around the edge of things. You need to find what you want and talk about it. It might be safer to think something, but you have to actually say it if you want it to happen.”

...Next, I spoke to my second housemate, Bo Jangles.

“...My partner has always been my reassurance, my best friend, even my psychologist, and through polyamory, I’ve had to re-learn some of that. When you open up to more than one person, you learn to identify what you need from each individual, and what you, in turn, can give to them as well. ...

“There are little conversations that can feel impossible, but you need to have them.”...

●  From Finland comes a new polycomic artist — new to most of us, anyway. Sara Valta has been cartooning for some time. In the US her "My First Year of Polyamory" is hosted on Erika Moen's "Oh Joy Sex Toy" Pinterest page and got noticed this week by several sites with wider audiences.

She is a serious introvert. Several panels later the story takes a turn. (And notice the Finnish architecture.)

That's it for Friday Polynews Roundup. Till next time.


1.  BTW, here's the original Pledge of Allegiance, as patriotically recited by Porky Pig in 1939 on the brink of World War II. Notice what he doesn't say.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at the eyes on the Sara Valta character. She is on LSD. I hope it helps her.

October 03, 2020 10:51 AM  

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