Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Collective Child

by Pedro tolentino

Versão em Português / Portuguese Version - click HERE 

Cheers! They are having a kid!
The idea of these texts I group under the label of "irresponsible futurism" is thinking about the future without taking into account the ethical and cultural taboos of the present.

I someone from the early 1900's came to visit us he or she would be impressed, and probably offended, by the way we live now. Generations die and taboos sooner or later do too.
One concept that might seem strange to us today, but might make sense 20, 30 years from now, is the "collective child”.

If we have less and less time to take care of our children and the costs of giving them a comfort living and keeping up with the Joneses while, at the same time, preparing them for the competitive world that awaits them is getting more and more expensive (and exhausting), it is only natural that, when facing the lack of two important commodities (time and money) parenting a child “part time” together with an extended group of people doesn’t seem so bad. 

It is an irrefutable trend.  In 1950 a couple had, on average, six children, Average was down near two in the late eighties and nowadays one seems to be the rule. It is only natural to expect that the couples of the future will be content on having 50%, 20% or even 5% of a child, sharing it with the other “parents”.

The concept is simple, but still needs to overcome some legal and cultural barriers to become a reality: a group of friends decide to join forces to raise a child, preferably the kid should not be the biological child of any of parents, preventing therefore any differentiated bonds ( a minor problem in a world where very few children will be generated by natural insemination ) . Besides the obvious financial advantage, since the costs will be divided between a larger group of children, a collective son would be more consistent with the busy life of modern times. This new format will give each parent a certain time with the kid, enough to create a close bond with the heir, but not enough to get bored with the heavy daily routine that accompanies the creation of a son (daughter).

Also, with many parents, the child will have the opportunity to absorb the diverse talents and skills of these people, necessarily becoming someone more talented and versatile than his (her) peers. A collaborative project, developed to respond an irrefutable demographic trend. We shall see, some day, a group of six parents and a son on the cover of TIME magazine, stipulating a new format of human relationship.

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