Leaving No (Nonmarital) Child Behind

21 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2015 Last revised: 28 Apr 2015

See all articles by Courtney G. Joslin

Courtney G. Joslin

University of California, Davis - School of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Almost ten years, in 2005, I wrote a piece for the Family Law Quarterly describing the legal status of children born to same-sex couples. This Essay explores the some of the positive and some of the worrisome developments in the law since that time. On the positive side, today many more states extend some level of protection to the relationships between nonbiological same-sex parents and their children. Moreover, in many of these states, lesbian nonbiological parents are now treated as full, equal legal parents, even in the absence of an adoption.

There are other recent developments, however, that should be cause for concern. Specifically, this Essay considers recent legislative proposals that contract (rather than expand) existing protections for functional, nonmarital parents. I conclude by arguing that while advocates should celebrate the growing availability of marriage for same-sex couples, they must also be careful not to push legislative efforts that inadequately protect the large and growing numbers of families that exist outside of marriage.

Keywords: parentage, parent, functional, biological, same-sex, lesbian, gay, marriage, adoption, equitable, legislative

Suggested Citation

Joslin, Courtney G., Leaving No (Nonmarital) Child Behind (2014). 48 Family Law Quarterly 495 (2014); UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 414. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2546380

Courtney G. Joslin (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

400 Mrak Hall Drive
Davis, CA CA 95616
United States
(530) 752-8325 (Phone)

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