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Grownup Kids of Polyamorous Dad and mom

The first weblog submit on this collection explored the 5 ideas that youngsters from the Longitudinal Polyamorous Household Research (LPFS) instructed for youthful children whose dad and mom come out to them as polyamorous. This second submit focuses on grownup youngsters whose dad and mom come out as polyamorous later in life. The knowledge for the primary weblog submit got here from youngsters raised in polyamorous households who participated within the LPFS, and the data for this second weblog submit additionally contains the youngsters of a few of my household and relationship teaching purchasers.


Some grownup children hear from their elder dad and mom that they’re polyamorous, and the youngsters are neither stunned nor dismayed as a result of they don’t actually care both method. “Sounds about proper” is what one shopper’s 25-year-old son responded to his dad when he talked about his polyamorous relationships. Grownup children on this class are sometimes fairly busy with their very own lives and never notably centered on what their dad and mom are doing. These adults who’ve little to no reactions to their guardian(s) polyamory are usually non-religious and considerably socially liberal or libertarian.


Pavil Danilyuk/Pexels

Picture: Folks elevating glasses in a toast

Supply: Pavil Danilyuk/Pexels

Different grownup children are excited and happy about their guardian(s) polyamorous relationships. In some social circles, polyamory is all of the rage and for an grownup to have polyamorous dad and mom could make them “a rockstar at any ceremonial dinner” if the dialog turns to CNM (consensual non-monogamy). Not solely does it supply cool cred to have polyparents, however it additionally contributes to elder dad and mom’ happiness and relationship satisfaction.1Adults who need their dad and mom to be completely satisfied and wholesome with excessive ranges of relationship satisfaction can rejoice their guardian(s)’ expanded love.2


Like different intercourse and gender minorities (SGM), polyamorous and CNMsters continuously face others’ faulty assumptions that, as a result of this particular person varies in a roundabout way from intercourse/sexuality/gender norms, that should imply that they haven’t any boundaries in any way. Proponents of the established order have deployed this drained trope towards LGBTQ+ folx, feminists, and focused BIPOC populations with particular virulence.

Analysis on gender, households, relationships, and variety has repeatedly demonstrated that these issues are baseless.3 As a substitute, cumulative findings point out that intercourse and gender minorities have boundaries like individuals of all different sexes, sexual/relational orientations, and genders. In different phrases, polyamorous elder dad and mom are not any extra prone to pose a menace than are some other sort of elder dad and mom. The well being, ease, and luxury of the household will rely rather more so on how the individuals deal with one another and have just about nothing to do with what sorts of relationships elder adults have with their friends.

Some individuals — together with some grownup children of polyamorous of us — confuse polyamory and different types of consensual non-monogamy with dishonest. They’re fairly totally different, partially as a result of contributors in CNM can negotiate their relationships, set private boundaries, and are far much less prone to transmit STIs to one another. People who’re dishonest, nevertheless, don’t usually negotiate that with their companions and as an alternative might lie to cover their exterior relationships, and are much more prone to transmit a STI to a companion than are of us who’re in CNM relationships.4 Dishonest hurts partially due to the mendacity and betrayal, that are (ideally) absent from CNM.

Different grownup youngsters of polyamorous dad and mom have advanced emotional reactions to their guardian(s) relational fashion. A few of these grownup children will really feel particularly indignant if disagreement over CNM led to a divorce and the opposite guardian feels damage. In these circumstances, the grownup baby may take sides in help of the guardian they view as wronged, actually because the opposite guardian needed CNM and the connection didn’t survive the transition. In that case, these grownup children typically see CNM as a nefarious follow and typically even ban that polyamorous guardian from seeing their grandchildren.2

Lastly, a few of the grownup youngsters within the LPFS reported that they felt some concern that their companions may really feel nervous concerning the grownup baby of a polyfamily’s capability to take care of a monogamous relationship. One respondent reported that she was fairly nervous to introduce her boyfriend to her household and clarify the community of relationships amongst numerous adults. She averted it for a 12 months and a half and ultimately instructed him all about her polyfamily, and he was fairly relaxed about it — someplace between cavalier and celebratory. He knew his devoutly non secular dad and mom can be fairly upset about it, nevertheless, so the couple determined to not convey it up along with his dad and mom. When the couple married (monogamously) a number of years later, solely the respondent/bride’s organic dad and mom got here to the marriage and the in-laws by no means requested questions on further companions (why would they?), so their polyamorous companion was not a difficulty. The elder in-laws lived in several nations, so it was not an issue to maintain their interactions rare.

Within the household referenced above, it labored out superb as a result of the companion was in a distinct nation and unable to attend the marriage anyway, so their absence didn’t need to be painfully engineered to cover them. In different circumstances, concealing companions throughout massive life occasions has unfavourable and painful penalties for many individuals concerned, and households are pressured to make laborious decisions about whose consolation will get prioritized. Typically individuals compromise and introduce the extra companion(s) as beloved pals and chosen members of the family. General, it’s not troublesome for the polyfamily to cross as monogamous for a time period, however it might come on the expense of erasing necessary relationships from main life occasions.

Polyamory Important Reads


Polyamory and different types of CNM supply adults the potential for extra love, affection, consideration, emotional help, and assembly a wider vary of wants. They are often particularly constructive for elders, providing increased ranges of relationship satisfaction than discovered amongst similarly-aged monogamous individuals. Many grownup children of overtly polyamorous dad and mom are completely satisfied or impartial about their guardian’s relationships, particularly if the youngsters are socially liberal and non-religious. Grownup youngsters with polyamorous guardian(s) are much less prone to rejoice CNM if they’re non secular, personally conservative, have been cheated on or have cheated on somebody themselves, or really feel that CNM performed some unfavourable position of their dad and mom’ divorce. For these grownup youngsters, the perceived advantages that polyamorous of us report for growing old with a number of companions are both invisible or insufficient compensation for the injury the youngsters see as ensuing from CNM.

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