The Wages of Genetic Entitlement: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act

11 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2018 Last revised: 24 Apr 2018

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

This Essay analyzes flaws and assumptions in the recently enacted Rape Survivor Child Custody Act. The RSCCA offers a window into the problems with defining parenthood in terms of genes instead of caretaking relationships, which is what led to the problem of rapists being able to claim parental rights in the first place. Rather than address that underlying defect in family law, the statute attempts a solution that might work if all rapists were strangers, all rapists were men, and all rape victims were women, but glosses over complicated problems of violence and coercion in relationships. Despite this failure to grapple with hard cases, the RSCCA helps us see how the biological processes of reproduction are necessarily intertwined with the definition of legal parenthood.

Suggested Citation

Hendricks, Jennifer S., The Wages of Genetic Entitlement: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act (2017). 112 Northwestern L. Rev. Online 75 (2017), U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3133794

Jennifer S. Hendricks (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303-735-5453 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://lawweb.colorado.edu/profiles/profile.jsp?id=486

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