Custody and Couvade: The Importance of Paternal Bonding in the Law of Family Relations
Geoffrey P. Miller
New York University School of Law
NYU Law School, Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper No. 5
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 75
Date posted: February 14, 2000