The Revolution in Parenthood: The Global Clash Between Adult Rights and Children's Needs

Elizabeth Marquardt previews a new study of how international trends in law, science, and culture are threatening age-old understandings of marriage and parenthood.

In Spain, following the legalization of same-sex marriage, birth certificates have been changed to read “Progenitor A” and “Progenitor B” instead of “mother” and “father.”

Universities in Great Britain and New Zealand are conducting DNA research aimed at enabling not just same-sex couples to procreate, but lone individuals, too. 

Also in Britain, scientists have been granted permission to create embryos with three genetic parents. 

Steps like these are pursued on behalf of adults and their interest in forming families as they choose.  Stepping back:  What about the interests and needs of children?

“Our societies,” Ms. Marquardt writes, “either will answer questions like these democratically and as a result of intellectually serious reflection, or we will find, very soon, they have been answered for us.  At stake are the most elemental features of children’s well-being.”

“The Revolution in Parenthood” is a project of the New York-based Institute for American Values, where Elizabeth Marquardt is Director of the Center for Marriage and Families.  She is best known as author of Between Two Worlds:  The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce.