Intentionally stripping parents from their children is one of the greatest injustices inflicted upon youth, and by extension, the world.
That’s how Katy Faust, an advocate of children’s rights, framed her lecture on the intentional attacks upon children by adults who force them to lose out on a parent because of their preferred sexual attachment, whether that be in a same-sex union or a divorced couple seeking new love.
In a Feb. 18 lecture hosted by the Dow Journalism Program, the department of philosophy and religion, Intervarsity Fellowship, and the Catholic Society, Faust spoke about her new book, “Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights Movement,”which seeks to bring awareness to the natural rights children possess and how those rights are being stripped from them by the world’s attack on biological families.
As a child who was raised in a lesbian relationship, Faust said she seeks to combat the popular narrative that kids don’t need both a mom and a dad in order to develop normally.
“Losing one’s parent out of intentionality is an injustice,” Faust said.
Faust argued that children possess an inalienable right to one father and one mother who are biologically related to the child. Faust said these natural rights exist before government institutions, are inherent, and are equally distributed among every person on the planet.
The biological aspect is important, Faust said, as it fosters the deepest, most connected, and most involved parental relationship possible compared to a child with same-sex parents or who had a surrogate mother.
“Children receive biological identity and intrinsic value from their biological parents,” she said.
Faust also spoke about how stripping away a child’s parent creates a “father-hunger” or “mother-hunger” in the child. This is characterized as a need for the opposite sex in their life to help them in the formation of their identity. Faust spoke from personal experience, as a child whose mother divorced her father to live with a woman. While Faust stated she loves her mother and the woman who helped raise her, the experience provoked her to write an open letter to retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, as he deliberated on the Obergerfell v. Hodges case that would legalize same-sex marriage, detailing how dangerous it is to children to allow same-sex couples to parent.
According to Faust, multiple studies done by pyschologists have proven that kids of both sexes perform better both in school and socially when parented by one father and one mother, yet that research is ignored and essentially thrown out when discussing children parented by same-sex couples.
Freshman Emily Jones said she loved hearing someone finally say children were the actual victims in broken families.
“Coming from a broken home, I had never heard that before from an adult,” Jones said, adding that she appreciated the focus on the children in need and less on the adults’ wants.
Faust said it is easy for Christians to oppose same-sex unions as proof of broken families. But, she argued, focusing on only one aspect of broken family life contributes to the losing fight.
One of the main problems the church has failed to face, has been dealing evenly with all aspects of motherlessness and fatherlessness, which includes reproductive technologies such as surrogacy, sperm donation, and, Faust emphasized, no-fault divorce.
In order to successfully begin fighting back, Faust said Christians must be unafraid to go where kids’ rights are being violated, even if that involves divorced church members or your homosexual friends.
She then went on to detail how various reproductive technologies like sperm donation and surrogacy are harmful to children, rather than creating new opportunities for families.
“Surrogacy cuts the bond between the birth mother and child and inflicts a wound that is intentional, and that is an injustice,” Faust said.
Likewise, surrogacy and sperm donation intentionally erase one parent from the equation and intentionally deprive a child from their right to a balanced, stable, two-gender parent relationship.
Faust then spoke about the need to emphasize kids’ rights over parents’ rights, and stressed that true parents’ rights will never be in conflict with kids’ rights.
Nathan Schlueter, professor of philosophy and religion, said the breakdown of the family is not talked about enough in our culture.
“There is no stronger correlation, statistically, to human flourishing, than the family structure,” Schlueter said. “All social crises start with the family and therefore the most effective way to combat such crises is to start with the family.”