U.S. Passports blur "mother/father" terminology


Over the weekend the news broke that the U.S. state department was planning to remove the words "mother" and "father" from our passport applications and replace them with "parent 1" and "parent 2."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's spokesman says she was unaware that the changes she authorized would completely remove the names "mother" and "father" and so the new solution is to split the baby. According to the Associated Press, "the form will now ask for the names of the child's "mother or parent 1" and "father or parent 2."

Efforts to remove state recognition of mothers and fathers remind us of the dangers of alienation faced by children in a post-marriage culture. Reuters reported back in 2007, for instance, that in Ontario, a child may have three parents on their birth certificate:

In a ruling released on Tuesday, the Ontario Court of Appeal said the female partner of the child's biological mother could be legally recognized as the boy's third parent.

It is not inconceivable, following this sort of logic, for a child to have five parents legally recognized: what if two men hire a man and woman they know to conceive a child through In Vitro, and then ask another woman to carry that child to term?