Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights Movement

By Stacy Manning, Robert George

You probably know the adult viewpoints on marriage, infertility, reproductive technologies, same-sex parenting, divorce, and adoption. But have you ever considered the kids’ perspective?

Them Before Us has flipped the script on adult-centric attitudes toward marriage, parenthood, and reproductive technologies by framing these issues around a child’s right to be raised by both their mother and father. Set against a backdrop of sound research, the compelling stories throughout each chapter confirm that a child’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being depends on being loved by the two people responsible for their existence. It’s a paradigm shift that will impact the personal and the political, and reframe every marriage and family conversation across the globe.

Them Before Us dispels many prevalent, harmful myths concerning children’s rights, such as:

  • Kids need only love and safety—moms and dads are optional.
  • Love makes a family—biology is irrelevant.
  • Marriage is about adults—it has nothing to do with kids.
  • Children are resilient and will “get over” divorce.
  • Studies show “no difference” in outcomes for kids with same-sex parents.
  • Sperm and egg donor kids are fortunate because they are so wanted.
  • Surrogacy is a great way to help wannabe parents have a baby.
  • Reproductive technologies are just like adoption.

Are you tired of a culture that views adults as victims in family matters, when it’s clear that kids are the ones who truly pay the price? If so, we are your people, and this is your movement.


“Katy Faust’s voice is as essential as it is unique, and her vital work over the last decade has culminated in this eminently well-reasoned and important book. Her focus is on three particular types of family dynamics that untold millions of children are increasingly being subjected to today: widespread divorce and ever-expanding stepfamilies, the contractually donor-conceived, and intentionally motherless and fatherless same-sex families. How are the children in these homes faring? Katy is one of the few people even asking this question, and her book provides the answers. She contends, correctly, that we must put Them (the children) Before Us (the adults).”

—Glenn T. Stanton, director of global family formation studies at Focus on the Family and author of Loving My LGBT Neighbor, The Ring Makes All the Difference, and The Myth of the Dying Church


“An essential read in moments like ours, Faust and Manning’s Them Before Us offers an important intervention into a world increasingly defined by the needs, desires, and fashions of adults by foregrounding our most vulnerable: children. In so doing, they animate an altogether different conversation about marriage and family, one that centers on the care of children and the cultivating of a context that is most receptive to their needs and, critically, protective of their rights.”

—Mobeen Vaid, Muslim Chaplain at George Mason University


“Katy Faust and Stacy Manning have a knack for defending important truths in a culture that wants to ignore them. In Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights Movement they provide a do-it-yourself manual for effectively defending children. This book will equip any reader who wants to join the movement.”

—Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., author of When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment and Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom


“A society that does not prioritize the well-being of children will not ultimately survive. And children’s well-being is best served when they are raised by their own biological mother and father. In Them Before Us, Katy Faust and Stacy Manning build a strong case that adults do children a terrible injustice when they accept policies and practices that intentionally deny a child a connection to one or both of their parents. They (children) should come before us (adults).”

—Nancy Pearcey, professor and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University, author of Total Truth and Love Thy Body


“New parents are often advised to get on their hands and knees and crawl around the room to discover outlets, sharp edges, and other dangers that can only be perceived from a child’s perspective. Katy Faust is calling on all of ‘the adults in the room’—parents, policymakers, all of us—to do something just as radical. Them Before Us is a paradigm-shifting examination of the social, legal, and cultural decisions of recent decades from the eyes of the child, and the dangers revealed are absolutely devastating.”

—Cathy Ruse, JD, Senior Legal Fellow, Family Research Council


“Finally! A book that speaks to me as a parent and as a lawmaker about the need to protect children from much of the world’s craziness, including the breakdown of the family. In Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights Movement, Katy Faust and Stacy Manning offer wisdom and insight about why the rights of children must be prioritized over the desires of adults. If you are a lawmaker or are otherwise passionate about improving the lives of children, trust me, this is a must-read.”

—Rep. Fred Deutsch, South Dakota


“If you want the no-holds-barred truth about what’s best for kids, look no further than Faust and Manning’s Them Before Us. This is the only book on the market that has strategically laid out all the reasons why children’s needs must come before adult desires and makes the arguments for you so you don’t have to. Not only is it a great read, it gives you the why and the data for all those things you know to be true but lack the words to convey.”

—Suzanne Venker, Author and Marriage Coach


“Faust and Manning will take you on a comprehensive and heart-wrenching tour of the damage done to kids when adult desires are privileged over children’s rights to their own biological mother and father. But they won’t leave you in the ruins. At the end of each chapter, they’ll offer practical suggestions to begin rebuilding a culture that prioritizes kids’ best interests. Read Them Before Us, and be ready to do the ‘hard things’ adults must do so that children won’t have to.”

—Mark Regnerus, Professor of Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin


Them Before Us recasts all debates about all other rights. It brilliantly articulates the need to enshrine in law the right of every child to the marriage of its biological parents, a right that comes with the existence they gave it at conception. To the degree this right is honored, not only the child, but whole nations will thrive or wilt.”

—Pat Fagan, Ph.D. Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, The Catholic University of America


“One of the most consistent and most destructive myths of the sexual revolution is ‘the kids will be fine.’ No-fault divorce? The kids will be fine. Homes without a mom and dad? The kids will be fine. Artificial reproductive technologies that separates kids from their biological moms and dads? The kids will be fine. Same-sex parenting? The kids will be fine. They aren’t, and Katy Faust has emerged as perhaps their most thoughtful and fierce advocate, as you will see in this book.”

—John Stonestreet, President, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview


“Amidst the legal scuffling over no-fault divorce, marriage equality, and the unregulated fields of surrogacy and in-vitro-fertilization, so many have lost sight of, perhaps, the most vulnerable members of society whose suffering has been the unforeseen unintended consequence of our own self-absorption: children. This trailblazing work by Katy Faust and Stacy Manning provides significant cause for reflection and a most ethical rationalization for opposing the flawed notion that a child merely needs the love of ‘anyone’ in order to have a healthy upbringing. ‘Consent’-supremacy in the validation of adult sexual relationships has ignored the psycho-emotional and developmental needs of children to the extent that the harm caused remains hidden from the public. Enter Them Before Us.”

—Dr. Abdullah b. Hamid Ali, Assistant Professor of Islamic Law, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, CA


“As the sexual revolution continues to hack away at society’s investment in the best interests of children, robbing millions of what should be their immutable right to be raised by both their biological mother and father under the same roof, Katy Faust has emerged as the 21st century’s most important voice standing up for kids.

“Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights Movement is a clarion call to put children first and to end the era of adult selfishness and shortsightedness, trumping our children’s happiness and security.”

––Doug Mainwaring, journalist, pro-family activist, married (to a woman) same-sex attracted man


“The breakdown of the intact, married family has been a disaster for American children. In Them Before Us, Katy Faust and Stacy Manning offer an incisive and deeply disturbing account of the ways in which children have paid the biggest price for the erosion of marriage. As they make clear, this is an issue that Republicans who are concerned about limited government must confront insofar as the size and scope of government balloons when the family falls. And this is an issue that Democrats who are concerned about poverty and the health of the American Dream must confront insofar as children raised in non-intact families are much more likely to grow up in poverty as children and end up poor as adults. This is an important book for everyone who is concerned about the welfare of children in America today.”

—W. Bradford Wilcox, Director, National Marriage Project, University of Virginia


“Katy Faust’s book is a must-read for those who are interested in the rights and needs of children. She speaks the hard truth. As someone who lived in a traditional and an alternative family structure in her childhood, she is empathetic to those who may have a different perspective, while remaining focused on the rights of children to grow up in the most secure and least stressful environment. You may not agree with everything she believes or advocates for, but you will learn a great deal about the needs of children physically and emotionally, and perhaps come away with a deeper understanding, a change of perception, or even a change of heart.”

—Erica Komisar, LCSW, psychoanalyst, parent guidance expert and author of Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matter


Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights Movement by Katy Faust and Stacy Manning will be an important catalyst in the inflection point we need in the pro-family, pro-life, and pro-marriage movement. This well-written, heart-stirring, data-supported case for putting children’s needs first rather than adult desires is refreshing and cause to celebrate! Leaders in every aspect of culture, including the church, need this invaluable resource to educate, legislate, and encourage human flourishing in a winsome, grace-filled manner, regardless of your background or beliefs.”

—Carrie Abbott, President of The Legacy Institute and Host of Relationship Insights Radio and Podcast