Autonomous Motherhood?: A Socio-Legal Study of Choice and Constraint

Posted: 29 Jul 2015

See all articles by Susan B. Boyd

Susan B. Boyd

University of British Columbia Allard School of Law

Date Written: April 1, 2015

Abstract

Since the end of the Second World War, increasing numbers of women have decided to become mothers without intending the biological father or a partner to participate in parenting. Many conceive via donor insemination or adopt; others become pregnant after a brief sexual relationship and decide to parent alone. Using a feminist socio-legal framework, Autonomous Motherhood probes fundamental assumptions within the law about the nature of family and parenting. Drawing on a range of empirical evidence, including legislative history, case studies, and interviews with single mothers, the authors conclude that while women may now have the economic and social freedom to parent alone, they must still negotiate a socio-legal framework that suggests their choice goes against the interests of society, fatherhood, and children.

Keywords: single mothers, motherhood, parenting

Suggested Citation

Boyd, Susan Barbara, Autonomous Motherhood?: A Socio-Legal Study of Choice and Constraint (April 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2636531

Susan Barbara Boyd (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia Allard School of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada
604-822-8108 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.allard.ubc.ca/faculty-staff/susan-b-boyd-frsc

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