Other Mothers

12 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2017

Date Written: May 1, 2017


While family law generally recognizes multiple forms of parenthood claims, it largely defers to the primacy of maternity. Unlike paternity, which is robustly defined by statute and examined in scholarship, current definitions of "mother" are largely based on assumption and custom. States privilege childbirth over equally valid claims to parentage, which disadvantages nontraditional families. This demonstrates an inherent instability of "other" parents in contrast to the legal parenthood of genetic birth mothers, which affects the rights of lesbian non-biological mothers and single fathers. Their relationships are relational rather than intrinsic, and must be earned rather than acquired at birth. This Article examines the parental interests of non-marital partners of genetic birth mothers, who are reduced to legal strangers without the consent and cooperation of the legal parents.

Keywords: maternity, paternity, lesbian, motherhood, parentage, UPA, fundamental rights, marriage, gestation, surrogacy

Suggested Citation

Maillard, Kevin Noble, Other Mothers (May 1, 2017). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 2629, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3067829

Kevin Noble Maillard (Contact Author)

Syracuse University College of Law ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244-1030
United States

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