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Custody and Couvade: The Importance of Paternal Bonding in the Law of Family Relations

75 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2000  

Geoffrey P. Miller

New York University School of Law

Date Written: 1999

Abstract

This paper discusses the importance of paternal bonding in the law of family relations. Drawing on the metaphor of couvade--pregnancy symptoms in expectant fathers--the paper argues that men have a closer connection with the process of procreation than is commonly supposed in contemporary family law. The paper evaluates the paternal role in seven stages or events connected with procreation--contraception, conception, pregnancy, abortion, perinatal loss, labor and delivery, and early infant care. The paper then considers three legal contexts in which paternal bonding during procreation plays a role: abortion, adoption of children born out of wedlock, and custody/visitation during divorce.

Suggested Citation

Miller, Geoffrey P., Custody and Couvade: The Importance of Paternal Bonding in the Law of Family Relations (1999). NYU Law School, Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper No. 5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=201056 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.201056

Geoffrey P. Miller (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

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