Patty Skudlarek strives to be a responsible parent. That's why she says she told her 18-year-old son that if he wants to have sex, not only is she okay with it, but she'd prefer that he do it in the family home.
"I'd rather he … do it here than somewhere else," Skudlarek told "Good Morning America." "With the kids having sex at home, it's a safer environment, because, you know, it's clean … and usually the place they keep the condoms are in their bedroom.
"So then they're close by. And it's just ... an environment they're familiar with, as opposed to a motel, a car or a park, or wherever they're doing it, these days."
Skudlarek isn't alone. The Internet message boards are abuzz, telling the story of a small but growing number of parents who are allowing their teenagers to have sex at home.
Heather Blackmore is aware of the chatter. An article she posted this month about a woman who allows her teenage son to have sex with his girlfriend in his bedroom set off a firestorm, with some accusing the mother of running a "cheap motel."
Blackmore says that was not the woman's intent.
"I think … it was more of the attitude, 'Well, kids are going to do it anyway. Why not make it so that it-- it's in a comfortable, safer environment,' as opposed to in a woods," she said.
Some parents – like Chloe Foreht – say allowing teens to have sex at home ensures they have somewhere to run if anything goes wrong. She allowed her 17-year-old daughter to engage in a sexual relationship with her longtime boyfriend in the family home.
"I was okay with her having sex in my home because of the relationship she was in, because of the teenager that she is … her boyfriend would sleep over probably once a week. And I was comfortable with that," Foreht said.
She joined three other parents of teens to discuss the issue with "Good Morning America" contributor Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
Ritchie Steinmann, the father of two teens, was against the idea.
"I draw the assimilation between sex in the home and drinking … You don't drink in my home. You know, you don't bring home a girl or a boy, you know, and close the door and run around in my home. You know, it's the decency and sanctity of what we call home," he said.
" I think that they're really completely different issues. And I think that, you know, my daughter … does have respect for our home."
She also said she believed that hidden sex could be more risky.
"If they're having it outside the home … who knows who they're having it with? You know, it's -- there's a bigger chance, I think, of less safe sex, maybe more different partners. You know, not understanding that it is something that is okay if you're doing it with somebody you really care about and you want to do it and, you know, you're not all drunk at a party."
Some of the panelists seemed to long for earlier times when teens would steal away to have sex in the back seat of cars.
"I'm not sure that I personally would feel comfortable being at home knowing that my teenager is having sex in the next room," Carolyn Meyer-Wartels, who has two teens, said, laughing. "And I think that parents do need to create boundaries in the home and say things like, 'I don't think you're ready to be doing this. I don't think you're ready to be doing this here or anywhere, for that matter. '"
Steinmann worried other about consequences.