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Should three-parent families be legally recognised? | The Economist

What does a modern family look like? The Economist’s Matt Steinglass travels to the Netherlands where multiple-parent families–with up to four parents–could be recognised by law.

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What does a modern family look like? The Netherlands could become the first country in the world to allow a child to have more than two legal parents.

Families nowadays are complicated. Gay couples and infertile couples often have children with the help of surrogates or friends. Meaning three or more people may consider themselves the parents.

But does growing up in a non-traditional family have any impact on the well-being of children or their parents?

In 2013, California passed a law allowing more than two parents in some cases. A few provinces in Canada also allow it, but no country has adopted the practice nationwide.

Multiple studies have shown that same-sex parents are just as likely to raise well-adjusted children as heterosexual couples but multi-parent families are a relatively new phenomenon.

Researchers at the University of Amsterdam have carried out a long-term study on families with more than two parents. While the Dutch government deliberates over whether to change the law the reality is that multi-parent families exist and are becoming more common.

Loving families, able to care for their children, should be legally represented as such, no matter what their shape or size.

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