How Polyamorists and Polygamists Are Challenging Family Norms
the new yorker logo

Diana Adams, a family lawyer in New York, has become the leading figure in the conversation surrounding the application of existing laws to polyamorous and other unorthodox arrangements. In 2017, Adams, who uses the pronoun “they,” founded the Chosen Family Law Center, which undertakes many such cases pro bono. They work with polyamorous clients who would marry if they could, helping them craft a legal dynamic for their shared life.

Adams thinks that platonic co-parents, too, should be entitled to some form of recognition. They described a woman who became disabled and whose sister moved in and became the primary parent of the disabled sister’s child. Adams drafted a complex trust so that they could make hospital visits, have shared finances, and buy a house together. “Family is really about people who want to take care of one another because they love one another,” they said. In another case, two male-female couples bonded as a polyamorous quad and were living together. In giving birth, one of the women had a massive heart attack and became severely disabled. Her husband spent the next year taking care of her in rehab centers while the female partner in the other couple became the primary parent of the baby. The husband of the second couple became the breadwinner for all of them. “Despite that horrific and tragic incident, they’ve been together eight years in that format, and they’re a beautiful family,” Adams said.

Read more in the New Yorker.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

A Field Guide to the Abeyance of Loss

A Field Guide to the Abeyance of Loss

Claudia cannot choose the path her life is taking. Neuromyelitis optica directs her, making life smaller, confined to her hospital bed until someone...

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.