Three fathers who have all been named dads on their child’s birth certificate have opened up about their parenting methods.
Alan Mayfield, Ian Jenkins, and Jeremy Allen Hodges are a throuple who made history back in 2017 when they were all listed as fathers on now-3-year-old daughter Piper’s birth certificate.
United in a polyamorous union, the three dads, who now also have a 14-month-old son named Parker, have opened a gateway for other polyamorous families in the States after being legally recognized as the fathers of their child.
According to the family, Ian and Alan have been partners for 17 years. Some 8 years ago, their family expanded when Jeremy joined the couple, resulting in the trio becoming a throuple. They now also share two children who are half-siblings and were born through surrogacy.
Speaking of their unique family, Ian, who is a doctor and the author of a book called Three Dads and a Baby, revealed that the throuple worried their kids would be bullied because their family isn’t a traditional one.
“We did have a slight attention to the fact that our kids might be perceived differently. We didn’t want them to become a target of teasing or bullying or online abuse,” he told HuffPost.
Fortunately, however, their fears turned out to be unnecessary, whereas their family was well-accepted by their community.
“Our oldest now is in preschool, and the other parents and kids are like, ‘Cool! Tell us that story,’” Ian explained.
As the family revealed, they all have a different role to play in the family, whereas Ian is called ‘papa’, Alan is ‘dada’, and Jeremy is ‘daddy’.
“Piper has a favorite parent, and that’s Jeremy. There are many times it’s been harder for me to connect with her because she wants Daddy,” Ian added.
“We’ve developed a strategy for evening the workload so Jeremy doesn’t feel worn out and I get to share in the joys of having her. We all have a different role. Right now one of the best things is teaching her reading.”
While the three fathers may have an unusual family, their goal is the same as that of all loving fathers – for their children to be safe and loved.
“One can never predict what will happen, and teasing is part of basically every upbringing, but we’re raising these children with a really careful joint process. We’re always talking about how to raise emotionally healthy, giving but strong children, free of some of the toxic parts of our culture,” Ian told HuffPost.
As he explained, the throuple now also aims to raise awareness about the need for polyamorous families to have more rights.
“I really worry about someone who lives somewhere that’s not as accepting as California and wants to live this kind of life and can’t move,” he added.
“Some states are just brutal. They make every effort to impair parenting by nontraditional families and are really unhelpful. I’m hoping this starts the wheels turning that families come in lots of different arrangements.”
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