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Collaborative Reproduction and Rethinking Parentage

Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Vol. 21, p. 43, 2008

Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 07-16

16 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2007 Last revised: 19 Aug 2008

Charles P. Kindregan, Jr.

Suffolk University Law School


Collaborative Reproduction and Rethinking Parentage, by Charles P. Kindregan, Jr., questions the traditional methods of determining legal parenthood in the light of increased use of collaborative reproduction to have children. Historically motherhood was determined by giving birth, and fatherhood either by paternity proceedings or application of a legal presumption that the husband of the birth mother was the father. The only significant exception to these tests was statutorily-authorized adoption. But with the advent of such collaborative reproductive technologies as intrauterine insemination by donor sperm, in vitro fertilization by use of donor gametes, embryo donation and transfer, surrogate birthing, and (in the near future) reproductive cloning children are being conceived and born in circumstances which do not fit the traditional tests. Collaborative reproduction is largely unregulated by law, except for a few statutes and court decisions in a few states, and the author argues that genetic or adoptive tests for legal parenthood can no longer be universally applied. The challenge to the law will be the creation of new doctrines, such as intended parent or de facto parent will have to gain greater recognition in order to avoid confusion as to who is legally responsible for children.

Keywords: Collaborative reproduction, assisted reproduction, parent, parentage, embryos, gametes, genetics, birth mother, surrogacy

Suggested Citation

Kindregan, Jr., Charles P., Collaborative Reproduction and Rethinking Parentage. Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Vol. 21, p. 43, 2008; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 07-16. Available at SSRN:

Charles P. Kindregan, Jr. (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

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