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Old 04-18-2012, 08:12 PM
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Default Varieties of Open Relationships

Interesting ideas on in this article on types of poly/open relationships that might help decrease the concerns in this quote.
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The man worries he might end up raising someone else's children, and the woman worries that the man might withdraw the resources he brings to the relationship.
Varieties of Open Relationship
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:42 AM
Ready2Fly Ready2Fly is offline
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I've never understood this strange concern about "raising someone else's children." Fatherhood isn't sperm donation. Fatherhood is care, respect, integrity, and support. DNA doesn't make the kid "yours;" love does.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Ready2Fly View Post
I've never understood this strange concern about "raising someone else's children." Fatherhood isn't sperm donation. Fatherhood is care, respect, integrity, and support. DNA doesn't make the kid "yours;" love does.
My family has always been of the believer that anyone can be a father (biologically), but it takes a special man to be a daddy.

And the daddy is what matters.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:08 AM
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The daddy is so very much what matters.

I still call mine daddy, and I'm 51 years old. I love teasing him about how old I am on my birthday.

And more than 50% of CurrentBoyfriend's cousins/siblings are adopted (as is he).
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:03 PM
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I haven't yet read the article but wanted to comment on the conversation in the comments here... I imagine that part of the "raising someone else's child" fear might be about logistics and bonds. If a man who's not a primary partner impregnates your wife and she keeps the child, what rights does he now have in your lives, what roles that otherwise might not have been sought out? His involvement can never just be easily cut out if things go awry -- he's a father, life has been made together, he has or should have a say in this very important endeavor, raising a child, for the next two decades at least. It's no small matter, for any of the four of you (the two people sharing the primary bond, the other man, the child).
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ready2Fly View Post
I've never understood this strange concern about "raising someone else's children." Fatherhood isn't sperm donation. Fatherhood is care, respect, integrity, and support. DNA doesn't make the kid "yours;" love does.
I'll be sure to remind every tomcat I see.

Sure, you can love a child with whom you share not a speck of DNA. However, there's a real biological drive behind spreading your own genes. That, and no one likes being fooled.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by LotusesandRoses View Post
Sure, you can love a child with whom you share not a speck of DNA. However, there's a real biological drive behind spreading your own genes. That, and no one likes being fooled.
Well, Western society dictates that paternity is important, but that is just a belief that was useful when woman and children were considered property.

I learned a little bit about the Na culture in China through a scholarly review on JStor of the book, A Society without Fathers or Husbands: The Na of China (I have not bought the book yet). Very interesting people. This is from the review (publication is American Ethnologist):
The Na have shocked Han Chinese ethnologists by not having marriage; rather, they practice visiting relations -- consensual sexual relations in which both partners remain members of their natal households and never form an economic or social union recognizable as marriage. Na men visit their partners in the evening and return home by morning to mothers, aunts, uncles, and siblings, to join in their own household's work. Either partner can end a relationship at any time, and both can take other lovers during or between longer-term relationships.

In Na matrilineal households, the father is considered socially unimportant, and, prior to the Na's inclusion in the communist state, his identity was often unknown. The Na share an understanding, albeit flexible, of the family as the blood or adopted members of the household; they see the family as central to their emotional, economic, and social existence . . . it is because the Na believe that families should be stable and harmonious that they do not base family structure on romantic relationships. These Na say that love for family members is enduring, whereas passion is fleeting.
The Na live in a way that shows how unimportant it is to know whose seed the children come from. It doesn't mean the men are not important to the culture, just that it doesn't matter which children are theirs.

The Na live communally and the men don't rule the households nor have any ownership over the women or their offspring, because they don't even know who they've fathered. That information is not integral for the community to thrive and function well, nor for any of the children to be loved, cherished, and raised well. The women who have children raise them with the help of their siblings, and family is preserved that way.

Familial ties are matriarchal. The women's brothers are uncles to their sisters' children, and help raise them. No one goes around asking who fathered those children. The father of one women's children would be living with one of his sisters, and helping to raise her children, while his offspring is being raised by their mother and her brother(s).

Too many people in contemporary so-called "advanced" society are focused on paternity issues. Millions of children are waiting to be adopted, yet couples will focus (and spend tens of thousands of dollars) on fertility drugs and artificial insemination just to make sure their bloodline continues. If anyone wants to love and raise a child, why limit that love to biological offspring only?

The Na's system enables a separation between familial love and sexual love/passion, which frees the adults to take on as many lovers as they wish without recrimination. I think it's a great model for communal living, if you're the type that wants one big happy poly tribe cohabiting. It would be daring, and probably legally tricky in certain aspects, but a very brave endeavor in our modern culture!
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Last edited by nycindie; 04-24-2012 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:45 AM
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The Na are a fascinating group, though I didn't know much beyond a little paragraph in a child psychology book from [edit] years ago.

I don't think being focused either on biological mothers or fathers is primitive or bad - Heck, I'd like a biological child. Adoption is also hard, especially if you want the experience of raising a child from infancy, it's often cheaper to go to a fertility specialist, which is truly a sad thought.

Speaking for myself, while I'd love to have a biological child, I'd like to have at least two if I have kids, and I think having a child through any means is wonderful, but I want the person(s) I'm living with on my side and in agreement.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:28 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I think the main problem with the Na system is that men who want to raise children but have brothers only won't get any children in the household. Otherwise I think it's a good system but I would extend it to friends as well.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I think the main problem with the Na system is that men who want to raise children but have brothers only won't get any children in the household. Otherwise I think it's a good system but I would extend it to friends as well.
Oh, I am sure they extend it to cousins and other familial connections, too! Men with only brothers probably start looking around for related households to share in, or work to support the larger village. I will look into that.
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