Maggie Gallagher

But why would a woman who chose anonymous sperm donation suddenly decide at that late date to attach a face and a name to the DNA? The kids, of course. In spite of all the love a mother could provide, they still longed for Daddy. Becky never planned on that. Too many women still don't.

The actress Calista Flockhart, Miss Ally McBeal, adopted a baby. She recently confessed to the New York Post, "I want more children. I guess it would be nice to have a husband, too, and if you know where I might find the right one, let me know. But meanwhile, the baby is all I really want."

Maybe so. But what does her baby want, or what will he want a year from now? Children's hearts will keep fracturing until more mothers, especially privileged mothers, recognize that giving their baby everything he needs includes giving him a loving father. That's the old, stubborn idea of marriage, the place where a man and woman pledge themselves in love, not only to each other, but to their future children.

As President Bush said so bravely and truthfully, "a child's greatest source of security today is not only knowing 'my mom loves me' and 'my dad loves me,' but also that Mom and Dad love each other. If we are serious about renewing fatherhood, we must be serious about renewing marriage."


Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.