“These Are Our Children”: Polyamorous Parenting

  • Maria Pallotta-ChiarolliEmail author
  • Peter Haydon
  • Anne Hunter


Some LGBT individuals are polyamorous—that is, they have relationships with multiple partners of the same and/or the other gender. This chapter discusses the findings from an Australian focus group of 13 polyfamily participants, and also presents an overview of previous research on polyparenting. Issues of being “out” to their children, relations with extended families and friendship networks, and navigating broader societal systems and structures are the greatest concerns for polyparents. The duality of lack of visibility and fear of disclosure is examined in the context of formal societal structures such as education, health, and the law; less formal networks such as family, friends, neighbors, and social groups; and the mass media and popular culture. Another theme we discuss is how polyfamilies can be supportive environments. Shared child rearing is creating new forms of kinship structures that are beneficial to both children and adults in polyfamilies, although attachment to transient members of the family is raised as a concern. The chapter concludes with a call for more research into all facets of polyfamilies as well as the need for legitimization and resource development in social, health, educational, media, and legal institutions.


Discussion Group Popular Culture Picture Book Legal Service Positive Representation 
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To the wonderful group of parents from PolyVic who participated in the discussion for this chapter and to Jess Heerde who assisted in the preparation of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter Haydon
    • 2
  • Anne Hunter
    • 2
  1. 1.Social Diversity in Health and Education, School of Health and Social DevelopmentDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.PolyVicMelbourneAustralia

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