While the vast majority of Hosts are adults, there have been children from time to time. Over the centuries, the Praeceptores have developed ways of raising children to their full potential.
Since joined Hosts are infertile, children can only be born to those who come to the Hospes Lategum before joining. In the past, when the society lived in relative proximity to others in Europe and Britain, some children would be brought to the Hospes Lategum as foundlings, or as orphans. Even today, though it is quite rare, some new members bring their children with them. Finally, there are the Children of the Lategum, who must be raised to adulthood after their creation.
Children are raised, whenever possible, by their biological parents. If not, an adult Host is chosen who will stand in the role of parent. In neither case do they bear the burden alone. Child care at all levels is the responsibility of any host willing to lend a hand.
The foundational principles of the Hospes Lategum apply to children fully as much as they do to adults, joined or unjoined. In addition, the Lategum demand - and the Praeceptores agree - that every child should be brought to his or her fullest potential before adulthood, so they may make the best life possible for themselves.
All children are treated equally and raised in strict accordance with the Oath. No child is given any sort of preferential treatment, regardless of their origin or abilities. Every child is schooled in an academically rigorous curriculum, pushing them to learn as much as they can absorb. This is coupled with extensive individualized instruction to help the child overcome whatever difficulties they may have. The small number of children makes this possible. By the time they reach the age at which they are considered adults, able to make their own decisions freely, they are at an academic level equivalent to a college sophomore who has passed the core curriculum of most universities.
No aspect of the child's education is neglected. Their education in the sciences is matched by their education in the humanities and the history of both the world and the Hospes Lategum. They are also encouraged to get as much physical activity as they wish. The tropical climate of the island home is conducive to that.
The child is also given a thorough education in sexuality. They are encouraged to think and examine themselves, mentally and physically, and to explore as they feel the desire. Birth control for both sexes is freely available for the asking, and any requests, as well as any questions or discussions the child may have with the Medici, are kept strictly confidential. The only boundary that is never crossed is that between adults and children; no sexual activity is tolerated that crosses that line. In practice, however, this has never arisen; a joined Host can no more commit acts of pedophilia than he can commit rape.
All children are referred to in any formal context by their own ID number, assigned by the Lategum as with any Host. Their parents may give them names and use them in private, but not in public. Children also wear a version of the same uniform as adults do. Historically, this has been the same short tunic and loincloth, but as the adult Hosts changed to wearing leotards, so did the children. The children's leotards are white fabric, instead of latex, since they do not have the same environmental tolerances as a joined Host. They quickly come to think of them as normal clothing for all.
Children are never joined to Lategum in the normal course of their lives. There is one exception. A child may be joined to a Lategis if it becomes necessary to save their life. A child so joined is given extra care to help them adjust to their new partner and the reality of their life as it has been altered. The decision to join a child to a Lategis is made by a recommendation of at least two Medici, and confirmed by the Medicus Magnus, who informs the Alpha that there is a medically necessary joining to be done.
When they reach adulthood, children are offered the choice of being joined to a Lategis, or being sent out to make their way in the world, Whichever they choose, they are well-prepared for the next stage in their lives.
OOC note: We are presently not considering child avatars for inclusion in the Hospes Lategum group in Second Life. So far, there has been no demand for them. If that changes, we will need to carefully consider how to go about it while remaining in strict accordance with the Second Life Terms of Service and the laws of various jurisdictions. At no point will ageplay, defined as any form of sexual play involving avatars of an apparent age below 18 human years, be permitted.
Written 2016-10-13 by α8369