“Every child deserves a mother and a father.”

Some use this phrase to mean that gays and lesbians who adopt are depriving their children of their fundamental rights, even hurting their chances to grow up healthy and well adjusted.

But when I hear this phrase I think about the decades, perhaps even centuries, of our culture wherein a woman is abandoned by the father of her children to strive alone to raise a family in a society that never intended to allow her to make a living.

I agree that every child deserves a mother and a father. Every child deserves to be loved. I believe that to protect the children of our society, we are beholden to enforce fatherhood responsibilities on the men who would abandon them. We are beholden to enable mothers to provide for their families even without the help of a husband. We are beholden to be the mothers and the fathers to the children whose life circumstances could not provide them.

Every child deserves a mother and a father, but why should they have only one of each?