One of the sad facts of being an alternative lifestyler of any sort is in this political climate, you’re liable to be labeled a dangerous pervert.
For the most part, it’s not actually illegal to be a pervert or anything, as long as you never have interaction with kids. Well, if you’re poly and a parent, good God yes, you’re going to be interacting with children! Yours.
Should this worry you?
It depends on a lot of things. Where do you live? Is it a conservative area? Do people have a live and let live policy, or are they all up in your bidness? What about your relatives? Are there control issues going on? Are you accepting significant financial support from them?
But more than that, I want to point out one more thing, which is the big subject of my rant.
Are you a good parent?
Seriously, dewd. Don’t get on your damn high horse until you’ve evaluated your parenting. If being poly is interfering with being a good parent, then you have a more serious problem than poly persecution.
So to evaluate:
- Are the children fed properly?
- Do they have clothing appropriate to the weather?
- Are they being educated appropriately? (sent to school regularly/homeschooled so that they keep up with grade level)
- Are they getting medical attention as necessary?
Not Basic, But Important
- Do they get appropriate attention? This is a biggie. When there is adult processing, sometimes kids’ needs can fall through the cracks. Be very careful and wary of this one. I wish I could sugar-coat it, but I can’t.
- Are they getting personal growth opportunities? Are they learning an instrument, learning fun skills, learning Life 101 skills?
- Are they getting an opportunity to be involved in the community they live in? Don’t isolate your kids because their household might be different. They live in the real world and need to learn to relate to it.
I’m not saying you have to be Superparent to justify being polyamorous. You don’t. But, dammit, do your job as a parent anyway. Yes, it takes time. Yes, you’re gonna screw up. That doesn’t let you off the hook from consistently trying.
For those of you who have direct reason to worry about custody issues, I cannot recommend the following article highly enough. Even more, the organization, the Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund. It’s run by fantastic and caring woman, Valerie White.
Financial support is not only money, but reduced rent, childcare and a number of other things. I’ll reiterate something I say consistently: DO NOT ACCEPT FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM PEOPLE WHO DISAPPROVE OF YOUR LIFESTYLE. That way lies trouble.
 And by God, it can. Don’t try to wiggle out of being a good parent by claiming poly persecution or Mama Java will have to get all strict on your butt.
 And maybe even change it for the better!