'Planned Parenthood': Adoption, Assisted Reproduction, and the New Ideal Family
56 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 85 (1999)
10 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2019
Date Written: 1999
This essay, based on a panel discussion, responds to Dorothy Roberts’s critique of the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act, which she claims favors — both rhetorically and substantively — adoptive families over biological families. Building on Roberts’s insights, which depart from the conventional understanding of adoptive families as “second best,” this essay considers other recent developments that disclose a new ideal family, the planned family. Beyond the favorable legal treatment of planned families formed by adoption, suggestions of this ideal appear in the language of welfare reform measures and the emerging law of parentage for children born of assisted reproduction. The essay concludes with some questions about anti-abortion measures and the possibility of recentering adoption law to prioritize children’s interests.
Keywords: adoption, welfare reform, assisted reproduction, children, families
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