A Return to the Larger Project–How Do We Find Parents At Birth? Part I

I’m going to turn away from the current discussion (which might have run its course or gotten out of hand) and return to something I’ve thought about for a long time. I’ve also written about it here and elsewhere–with something less than totally satisfactory results.

This is rather a large topic to tackle–perhaps not so well suited to the blog format (where believe it or not I try to keep things in manageable bites). The best I can do is to put it in parts, I think, and to try to make each part enough of a whole to serve. But I have taken the liberty of calling this one “Part I” because of my firm conviction there will need to be a “Part II” and very likely more parts beyond that. (And no, the Roman numerals are not an homage to the Superbowl, but since I’ve brought it up–Go Hawks!).

Okay–so here we are. As I trust everyone knows, the main topic of this blog is how we do and should determine legal parentage. And as most/all of you also know, I have a pretty firm view on this: I’m inclined towards using something at least akin to a functional or de facto parent test. In other words, if you have acted like a parent–if you have in fact created a parent/child relationship (defined psychologically and socially) with a child, then the law should recognize and protect that relationship. It should do so primarily because this will generally serve to advance the well-being of children who must be able to rely on those relationships which sustain them. You can see some cases discussing this if you look back to a couple of posts about new cases from WA that I put up in late December. (It’s hard for me to link to them just now. I’ll do that later today when I’m on a different machine.).

Now this approach–the functional or de facto approach–works fine with kids who have been around for a while. If you’ve got a ten-year-old you can see who her/his psychological/social parents are. You can do that for a three-year-old, too. And even a six-month-old. But what about a new-born? Who are the legal parent(s) of a newborn?

Let me start by noting that I do see that we want newborns to have legal parents. Maybe I should examine this proposition more closely than I am right now–I could always come back to it. But given that legal parents are those charged with both responsibility and decision making for the child, it seems to me we want someone in the goal from the get go.

Now it’s easy for me with my functional test to get to 1 legal parent for the newborn–the woman who was pregnant/gave birth. I won’t say there is a child before birth (note there’s a big issue I’m skipping over–when is it a child–but I want to go forward here). During the course of the pregnancy the woman who is pregnant bears enormous responsibility for future well-being of the child-to-be. She stands in a unique relationship to it. And I’d bet that if you took a newborn and put her/him in a room with four women, one of whom was the woman who gave birth to him, you’d find some signs that the newborn distinguished her from the other women. (Anyone know if this is actually true? I haven’t seen a study, but I’m still convinced it’s likely so.).

I do understand that even this point–which for me is a simple starting point–is controversial. It means that pregnancy matters. It is not the position taken by most (all?) of those who advocate for the use of surrogacy. But I find it impossible to say that pregnancy doesn’t matter. Indeed, consider what women go through to be pregnant/give birth–sometimes to children they will have no genetic connection to.

Anyway, let me move off of that starting point (with the understanding that anyone can drag me back there to discuss further.). The question for me is whether there can be a second legal parent at birth and, if so, how is that person identified.

I see the appeal of having two legal parents at birth. Partly this is about meeting people’s expectations–lots of time pairs of people want to be parents together. Partly it may just be copying the traditional (and generally biological/genetically based) model. But I’ve had trouble getting there. One obvious way–to count the genetic father as the second legal parent because he is the genetic father–is entirely unacceptable to me. (I don’t mean that a genetic father cannot be the second legal parent. I just wouldn’t award him that status based on his genetic connection alone.). So I wrote an article that is called “Counting from One” that actually suggests that maybe we should just start with one.

But I’ve never found this wholly satisfactory. And so I’ve been trying to work out a different approach. Again, there’s an obvious candidate–the intentional parent. Suppose there is a second person who had intended to be a parent to the child and that intention was shared by the women who just gave birth. A doctrine recognizing intentional parents could give that person legal status at the birth of a child.

But I have problems with intention alone (and “alone” is a key word here) being a marker for parenthood. And that’s where I’ll take up next time.

Thanks for bearing with me.

Advertisements

182 responses to “A Return to the Larger Project–How Do We Find Parents At Birth? Part I

  1. I have a problem with this all-or-nothing approach regarding genetics.
    you write: “to count the genetic father as the second legal parent because he is the genetic father–is entirely unacceptable to me.”
    your statement however is completely out of synch with a highly entrenched element of ours and many other cultures, and thus out of synch with the way a significant portion of the population thinks, feels, and acts. A legal system must be in tune or it will either be ignored, or wind up hurting too many people.
    Society has always considered genetics one of the primary determinant of fatherhood, although not the only one. (Another, as we have discussed, is marriage). I fail to understand why your system can not accord at least some consideration to genetics.
    Surely you and I still would have much to debate about. We would continue to debate how much importance to ascribe to genetics, and how much to other factors. But our debate would have a different character- it would be more about degree than of substance.

    • Ok, I read the “Counting from One article” and found the answer to most questions. You give as your primary reason for rejecting DNA is that its not queer friendly.
      I think it would be more accurate to say that it’s not lesbian friendly. because your approach inasmuch as it discriminates against all men by subordinating their parental status to the wishes of the mother, it discriminates against gay men.
      But thats a side show compared to what it says about children- that you would divest tens of thousands of children of a parent in the name of queer- friendliness. Your article is great fodder for anti gay activists who would depict gay rights as in essence opposed to child welfare.

      • In truth I haven’t read it for a while and perhaps there is stuff I would say differently now or even not say. The reasons I reject DNA are really far more extensive than what you’ve related (and I don’t mean to suggest you’ve mis-quoted me.) Given the placement of the piece that wasn’t really the focus–I was hurrying to get to the main discussion which was intention vs. function.

        That said, here’s one thing I’m sure of: In a small number of instances genetics and function are in direct conflict. One man provides the sperm, say, but is otherwise absent from the child’s life. Another person-male or female–steps in and actually plays the role of parent. (As in the movie–Stories We Tell–say.) In those instances I will always come down on the side of the functional parent. And it’s not because I’m queer-friendly–it’s because that is what I think is best for children generally–to protect the psychological and social relationships they rely on.

        But this doesn’t answer the newborn question, and that’s my current problem.

        • But can’t you do that without severing the person’s ties to their biological family or their rights to support and contact with the absent parent? Can’t you recognize the contributions by classifying them not as a parent but as a step parent or as an adoptive parent? And shouldn’t there be some procedures followed for getting to the point where the person gains legal recognition of their position? They are presumably gaining their access to the child through permission of the rearing parent rather than gaining access out of an automatic obligation so we do need to treat them differently and scrutinize whether they got themselves into that position in a way that was ethical. We owe that to the child to the rearing parent and to the absent parent.
          I think your idea of protecting the relationships built is good, fine and to be encouraged but make sure that the child’s rights to other things are not compromised in the process and that their personal connections to their own bio family are not severed by protecting the relationships forged with others due to the absense of their bio parent

          • So non biological parents relationships are forged? What do you have against them that you continue to try to minimize them and eliminate them from having any meaningful role in a child’s life?

            • i understood it as the other meaning of the word forged
              “2. To give form or shape to, especially by means of careful effort: forge a treaty; forge a close relationship.”
              from the free online dictionary

              • Given the source, I doubt that was the intended usage of the word. If you or someone else had used the word, I might have asked for clarification on which definition you were implying. But in this case I absolutely know the intended usage of the word because of the hard lined position of the person on this subject.

          • I suppose it depends what you mean by “ties.” It seems to me that you often assume the existence of more than genetic ties between a gamete provider and a child created with the gamete. Like you assume there are ties that have to do with responsibility. One can make that assumption, of course, but one does not have to. And in particular the law doesn’t make the assumption that there are any ties beyond the actual genetic ties, which of course cannot be severed. You’ve also, I think, moved from “ties” to the unmodified “parent.” I think this makes for confusion. When you (in your first sentence) refer to the “absent parent” do you mean “absent genetic parent” or something else? If something else, what?

            In fact I think you can protect the relationships I want to protect without severing all (note I inserted this word) ties between the genetic parent and the child. But I would not make the genetic parent into a legal parent–because that, I think, makes this all unworkable. They can, as I’ve said elsewhere, have defined “ties” to the child. And then we’ll just have to struggle with how those ties are defined–but they are not (for me) defined in terms of legal parentage.

        • Ok but don’t you see any difference between “I believe function should trump genetics (which many more people could get on board with)” and
          “genetics as a basis for parenthood is totally unacceptable?”

          • highlighting the previous comment for you julie, don’t want it to get lost under the pile

          • Hmmmmm. Perhaps you are right and I got a little carried away there? Really what I meant to say is that allowing a person to claim legal parenthood solely on the basis of genetics is, in my view, a bad idea. I don’t know if that is a more palatable way to say it.

            The first statement–that function should trump genetics–is also true (as far as it conveys what I think, I mean) but is also slightly different. It imagines a case where there are competing claims. By contrast, the first statement is more absolute. I think the second flows from the first but the first is broader.

            • lets assume for a moment there is no other functional or intentional candidate for second parent. my understanding from your post that “genetics is unacceptable” is that you still wouldn’t even consider the genetic father. did i understand you correctly?

  2. i think the research about newborn recognition had to do with the mom’s voice

  3. Here is where you have a kink to work out in the one parent at birth approach: If you say that she is the only parent and that she then has the authority to grant someone parental authority over her child, then what you have is the other person gaining access to parenthood through a relationship to her rather than through a relationship to the child (paternity). There are in fact two people who have a parental connection to the child without either one of them having to grant the relationship. In your proposed system the mother grants parental authority to a person but they would not have that opportunity to raise her child were it not for her granting permission. Maybe you propose that in granting that parental authority to a second party that she then loose what once was her clout ant then forever has to accept being on equal footing with the person she annointed a parent. Maybe she demotes herself by that move but you are still creating a type of parenthood that requires having permission from the mother first which is essentially step parenthood. If the relationship would not exist were it not for the consent and partnering with the mother then it’s step parenthood.

    Now I think you could make a case for giving everyone that one legal parent at birth, but rather than adding another legal parent you simply left everyone she’d appoint as a parent just be a step parent that way her child would have their support while they are together but she can change her mind and cut that person off whenever she wants because their connection came with her permission and can be terminated by her at any time.

    It’s like your proposing a strange kind of arrangement where the mother has the power to grant authority but not the power to take it away. If the assignment of parenthood is at her discretion rather than simply an obligation that arises for a person with offspring, then why would you have it be that the retraction of that assignment would not be also at her discretion? That is the beauty of step parenthood because it is at the discretion of the parent who granted it; it can be ended just as quick as it started. It makes sense to have people with offspring have the permanent obligation because they did cause their offspring to exist, it makes sense that they would have the power to grant others limited authority. It does not make sense that someone would have the power to grant it but then quickly loose that power.

    Also when everyone is entitled to be recorded as the offspring of their parents and have that be medically accurate, then everyone has a base line expectation of their parents for medical purposes and for support etc. It is a minimal base line but it does treat all people equally and then we move on from there in terms of what is best if the parents are not well suited to the task of raising them.. If it were up to the woman that gives birth then their identifying paperwork will be medically useless and we’d have an even bigger mess on our hands with vital records being wrong. As it is its a nightmare.

    • There are actually several reasons why I am not satisfied with the one person at birth problem, but this isn’t really one of them.

      I do think it is true that the one parent would have to agree to the participation of a second parent–at least tacitly. (What I mean by that is that I would say there was agreement where the behavior of the parties supported finding agreement even if there was no explicit agreement. IN other words, if she allowed someone to come in and act like a parent, play that role, then I’d say there was agreement whether it was explicit or not. It’s an “actions speak louder than words” rule.)

      Now in my view, this is still a focus on relationship with the child rather than with her. Proof of the relationship with the mother isn’t important. What you have to show is your relationship to the child.

      Still, I have to acknowledge that absent a relationship with her of some sort, it’s hard to see why she’d allow the relationship with the child to form. She does serve as a gatekeeper, as it were, as a legal parent.

      This is okay with me, but I know it is not okay with you. When you say there are two people with a relationship with the child you mean genetic relationship. This is true, of course, but not the “relationship” I mean to refer to.

      And just so it is clear–once there is a second legal parent–no matter who that person is and whether or not that person is genetically related to the child–the second parent is on completely equal legal footing with the first legal parent.

      Finally, let me return to where I started. I’m not entirely happy with the “only one parent” thing I proposed earlier–as I hoped I made clear–and so when next I post I do want to amend it and add a way to a second parent at birth. But (and this should be no surprise) it won’t be based on genetic relationship.

      • No I understand that and I can even suspend my personal beliefs to play around with how it might work and also my personal favorite thing to do is to theoretically take any change and apply it across the board so that we don’t have benefits and rights hinging on the circumstances of the individual. So if we are saying just women who give birth are parents theoretically I want to say OK that means that only women who give birth are responsible for their offspring as parents and lets see how that looks and what things that might trigger like the end of the paternity suit.
        OK but so why would you then have the other person be considered an equal parent to the mother if they don’t have the automatic obligation from having I guess not created but developed and delivered a person. To me it would be more fair if no other person were allowed to become a full fledged parent because then some kids would have no right to care and support from two parents while others would have such a right. Right now all minors have the right it just is often unfulfilled which is what it is, not great but the entitlement is there and so we can go after the parent whose ditching out on their obligations. What you are proposing means kids that are wanted would actually have a right to more. If you left it all completely under her authority then they’d have more what your trying to say which is a right to a relationship with them only so long as she will allow for it. The authority to grant it should come with the authority to terminate it.

        Also lets say that a woman had a bad delivery and fell gravely ill after delivering and let’s say one of her friends or a relative or even a foster care person took over care during that time and established this parent like relationship without her consent or maybe with her consent but for the limited purpose of taking care of her child during a time of need. You said that you view it not as the mother granting parental authority but rather them gaining it through contact with the child. So some other person potentially a total stranger but more likely someone she knows does the caregiving and suddenly has a claim of parenthood to her child that is equal in force to hers? Without ever having to go to court and apply or get checked out or without anyone ever looking into the situation? How would that work? Wouldn’t there be any kind of court approval process then to ensure the woman that gave birth truly wanted that person to be another parent? I can see situations where women of lesser economic means might have to share an apartment with someone rely on them for care while she worked but not in a way where she pays, but rather as friends. It is a frightening thought that her friend helping might without agreeing to take on a lifetime committment be thought of as a full force parent by the state? How would they find out? Could they just notify the state that they’d established a parent like relationship with the child? And if forming that bond is all it takes to become a parent then it could conceivably just keep going – where let’s say the 2nd parent got added by virtue of having a relationship with the kid and then starts up a relationship with someone else while lets say the woman that gave birth is deployed over seas for a while, well then if its all about relationship to the kid and caregiving then could a third or 4th parent be added?
        How does the second one get added? Is it a court process where its clear that its happened or is it sort of a hostile take over and then you notify the state or what?

        • I think we may share a general preference for universal principles–the same rules applying regardless of specific situations. There is something appealing to me about that–which is why I’m looking for an alternative to current legal regimes which apply one set of rules to ART and a different set of rules to conception via sex. So there’s yet another point of agreement.

          To that end, it makes sense to me to have a category “legal parent” and to have everyone in that category be treated equally. I take it what you are asking is why someone who doesn’t give birth gets in that category at all.

          If that is indeed the question then I think you have misapprehended my view. (This could be because I didn’t state it well so I’m not casting any fault here. I don’t see pregnancy/birth as the sine qua non of parenthood–which is what the question implies, I think. Rather, I see acting as a parent–playing the role, as it were–for a significant period of time–as the essence of parenthood. In my view people who do that–and who by doing that assume the psychological and social role of parent for a child–should be recognized. Having said that, I think look at pregnancy as one way of doing that–albeit a slightly strange one, since there isn’t (in my view) a child to care for during the pregnancy. If you go at it from this direction then I think it is easy to see why those who come later should be co-equal legal parents. But it also leaves me with the one parent at birth problem, which I’ll get around to when I’m done with today’s classes and can get out of the comments.

          • I do like to play ideas out and can suspend my beliefs in thinking about these things you propose. But I think, I can say “well how would this or that work?” and that it should challenge you to play it out too. One of my larger concerns is process documentation when someone gets parental authority over another person’s offspring because, you know it’s pretty clear that something happened there. If someone is not being raised by their bio parents there is generally some story of how they got there. Where are the bio parents, why are they not taking care of their child and do you have signed consent to this arrangement from them approved in a court of law. Right now we have some minors who are not the offspring of their legal parents and the answers to those questions were not fully answered like with other minors.

            I see your proposal and go OK so is this a state of being that is just supposed to happen to a person and its automatically recognized by law or are these people supposed to have to apply for it and then get permission? Are their time frames? If its do the work first and apply for the title later based upon function, how long is long enough? Cause adoptive parenthood starts berfore the work is done, just like biological parenthood. You don’t actually have to do anything in either case with regards to interacting with the child before you get the title and are then saddled with the obligation.

            • There is no such thing as Adoptive Parenthood. Parenthood exists but it’s not defined as being whether the parent is biologically related to the child.

              • I don’t understand. If a child has adoptive parents it means that somewhere out there they have a set of absent parents who did not raise them. It’s also pretty clear who has the authority over the child since one set came after the other presumably with permission. If we did not differentiate the two we would not be sure that the adoptive parents got their authority above board in court. That is the whole big deal adoptive parents gained control of someone else’s offspring in the only way we have that is suppose to protect the rights of the minor.
                Of course it is defined by how one gets the kid. If a person is raising a kid they gotta prove where they got the kid. Like did they kidnap the kid? Do they have permission to have that kid? Well if they are the bio parent they don’t need permission it’s their kid. There is no possible way they paid another person to get custody of that kid. There is no potential trafficking to be flushed out when someone has custody of their own kid that they made because they are at the top of the chain of authority. They don’t need permission. Everyone else needs permission consent cooperation from the bio parents at minimum in order to have custody and control of another person’s offspring. Most of the time the steps taken to obtain permission are well documented and approved in court because that process might involve an exchange of money goods or services that exploits and objectifies the child. You have to differentiate the two types in order to scrutineze the process for the protection of children from exploitation. I’m sorry but it just has to be done. It’s not about who is better or more real its about who might have contracted to get custody of a child.

                Think about the kid instead of the people who want to be parents. They deserve to never be the object of a private contract.

                • Differentiating between who conceived and gave birth to the child and who is raising the child has nothing to do with parenthood. There is no such thing as adoptive parenthood and/or biological parenthood. Only the idea of parenthood exists.

              • OK so if there is no adoptive parenthood, you believe that the minor has two mothers and two fathers and 8 grandparents etc. That is cool. Each family can figure out the naming constraints that works best for them at home in their private lives.
                But one set came before the other right? Like one has permission from the other that they got the whole thing approved in court right? You don’t think that people should just wind up with an extra set of parents willy nilly right? Do you think one set of parents should be differentiated from the other in terms of which the child is related to for medical purposes? Can you see where the child might need to have clear which set are their relatives in the scientific sense so they could avoid dating them if they chose not to want to inbreed? I think its fine if you don’t want to define parents as being adoptive when they are not biological but how then would we address the important questions of knowing who needed whose consent and permission? Which is the set to avoid inbreeding with? Which is the set that currently has custody and authority?

                • It’s not what I believe it’s a fact that a person who has been adopted has two sets of parents one who conceived them and one who raised them. Those parents have their own parents however many they have.

                  In the big picture it doesn’t matter who came before the other. If the child knows that they have two sets of parents and how they are related to each set, then there is no confusion as to who is what. A non biological parent isn’t always through adoption.

              • But in law there is such thing as Adoptive parenthood. In what arena is there no such thing as Adoptive parents. I am trying to understand. Are you speaking about in your perception or about the operative world and the laws that govern all of our behavior? American culture? International treaties? Internationally I know that there is such a thing as adoptive parenthood.
                I think your being deep and philosophical, existential. Could be wrong. I’m only talking about the law. I think there is adoptive parenthood in religion but I’m not sure. That’s Ki’s specialty. I have no specialty. I’m a black market student.

              • Greg thousands of examples exist in the law of every state and in the US Code that talk about adoptive parents or adoptive children. What do you mean in what realm does adoptive parenthood not exist. Keep in mind the topic of the blog is family law not religion or psychology. “US Code – Section 372A: Heirs by adoption … jurisdiction over the tribe of which either the adopted child or the adoptive parent is a member, “

                • Of course adoptive parents and adoptive children exist and are real terms. But “Adoptive Parenthood” does not exist. There is no such thing as “Adoptive Parenthood”. It’s something you have made up to degrade adoptive parents. There is such a thing as “Parenthood”. See the link to the definition of it below.

                  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/parenthood

                  • “055 Pa. Code § 3350.12. Adoptive applicants.
                    http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/055/…/s3350.12.ht…‎
                    Pennsylvania Code
                    (a) The service provider shall make a written study of applicants for the purpose of determining their capacity for adoptive parenthood, using interviews between …”

                  • “Bonding and Adoptive Parenthood | Adoption STAR
                    http://www.adoptionstar.com/bonding-and-adoptive-parenthood/‎
                    Apr 2, 2013 – CEO and Founder of Adoption STAR, Michele Fried discusses bonding with your … But what I had to learn was that adoptive parenthood is like …”

                  • More made up links that don’t work when you click on them. In the case of the adoption star website it says “Nothing found for Bonding-and-adoptive-parenthood”. It appears you did some research and couldn’t find anything so rather than admit you were wrong you decided to make up links and post them to make it look like you found something when in reality you found nothing. I’m not an idiot you won’t be able to trick me. It’s time for you to fess up and just admit it doesn’t exist so we can move on.

                  • Just google the phrase”Adoption definition of Adoption in the Free Online Encyclopedia.
                    encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Adoption‎
                    Information about Adoption in the Columbia Encyclopedia, Computer Desktop … adoptive parenthood (e.g., the right of custody and the obligation of support). … and the Union Republics and by the republic codes on marriage and the family.”

                    “Motivation and Potential for Adoptive Parenthood Scale – Byron W …
                    books.google.com/…/Motivation_and_Potential_for_Adoptive_Pa.html?i…‎
                    … Monitor Group (Firm). Monitor, 1977 – Adoption – 3 pages … Bibliographic information. QR code for Motivation and Potential for Adoptive Parenthood Scale …”

                  • Just took your advice on freedictionary and here is what I found:

                    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Adoptive+parenthood

                    “Phrase not found in the Dictionary and Encyclopedia. Please try the words separately:
                    Adoptive parenthood”

                    Nice try. 😉

                  • greg all the links are straight off the google search “adoptive parenthood code”

                  • Same result. You need to give up and admit defeat. It’s ok to admit you made it up.

          • What you need to do is take the voluntary admission of paternity form and use it for unmarried lesbians the way unmarried straight people use it. Im sure there are plenty of boyfriends whove been duped over the years into signing that thing when they were not actually the father and the same right to privacy would apply to them as to married people with regard to dna testing. There really is nothing special about marriage perse Julie. Its whether or not the two are willing to collude to falsify the birth record or whether or not the mother wants to trick her boyfriend or husband into doing it. It really is right here under your nose and has been. I’ve brought this up on any number of occassions. They could not deny the right to put a woman on the voluntary ap for paternity any more than they can no longer deny the lesbian spouse.

            Like I said I can play with ideas think them through logically even if I think they are shady. I really cannot believe that so much stock has been put on getting married to do this you can do the very same thing even if it says biological on the form because its not like the long form birth certificate does not also say it. ITS A LIE whether your married or not. Its a health record. But if straight people get to lie and be parents of other people’s kids black market style without going to court its only fair that gay people should be able to do it to.

            Now my objective has always been to make the people claiming to be parents either take a test or swear that the child named on the certificate is their offspring as a matter of public health first and foremost and then if someone wants to adopt the kid after that they go through the proper procedures. I think its reasonable since the vast majority of cases work just that way and there is no reason to short cut the process because the steps cut out are ones for the protection of the child.

            • and do note that its still parenthood with permission if they are not actually the person’s offspring. Still need consent from the other rearing parent at least

              • You’d win this battle for the voluntary admission of paternity way faster than you’ll get legal marriage in every state. You’d actually live to see this idea work.
                I’m gonna be a little bit sick now.

                • Some people do look at the VAPs as a way forward, but in general those forms (which are for unmarried heterosexual couples) require you to swear that you are genetically related. Now you could argue that we should have similar forms that don’t require that, but this is rather a large change and wouldn’t be that easy to accomplish in some states. But I do know people think about it.

                  • That’s what I’d argue. The CDC long form does sincerely whether you like it or not expect the two people named parents be the biological parents and on it says your not supposed to lie so its already all bets are off people are doing whatever the hell they want. Go find yourself some examples of guys who signed the vap then later tried to rebut when they found out they were not the father and look at the stupid court response when they allowed the false verification to stand. Here he signed it by mistake of fact. A valid reason for rebuttal. And yet we stupidly force him to remain named as parent.

                  • What think? Just do. What is the problem? Just start doing it. If your in a state that does not yet have gay marriage then its kind of stupid not to try right? And you’d get all this press coverage for trying and blah blah. Do it without a vote. Do it by flash mob.
                    If it fails go default to adoption. Look I hate the idea Julie really. But its a great idea and I do hate to see it wasted. Its fantastic strategy and its free. All they gotta do is fill out the form. Try it with gender neutral names first like Chris or Bobbi.

                    I do think it exacerbates a public health and record keeping nightmare but I believe we as a society are going to have to get our arms around the record keeping issue and health issue broadly not just with gay and lesbian partners claiming to be parents but rather make a big broad change to ensure that every person with offspring must be recorded as the parent of their offspring as a mater of public health and for the rights of their offspring and other relatives. We do have to do that and it has nothing to do with thinking lesbians or gays are not fantastic at raising kids. I am not opposed to that, I think you know that I want to see procedures followed to prevent objectification and of course truthful vital records.

                    So have at it now while its a wild unregulated west. It is only fair. But it was never fair to the kids or their relatives. CDC March of Dimes Surgeon General they are going to have to push to make record keeping bioloigcally accurate. Nobody else cares they all just want to own a baby.

                  • Its interesting that they make people swear they are genetically related on the VAP. So you really think that the intent for spouses is all that much different? I mean by what paternity means?

  4. A spouse does not actually have the right to be named as parent of their spouse if the child is not their offspring. If the child is not the offspring of her husband the Mother could totally correct the false presumption by the state and say that it is not his child and she does not know who the father is. If her husband could prove he was the father with a positive paternity test she would not be able to have his name removed from her child’s birth record. If all he had going for him was his marriage to her and the child was not his offspring, he would not be entitled to be named parent of her child, No way. His wife could name anybody or nobody, but being married does not give the husband the right to be the father of her child by another man, it gives them as a couple an opportunity to collude and defraud for sure, but that is much different from having an absolute right to be the parent of her child when its some other person’s offspring

    • That’s not a correct statement of law in all states, though odds are good that it is correct in some states. There’s a lot of variation out there.

      Here’s why I am sure it is an incorrect statement: in a number of states if the child was conceived via ART with donor gametes then the presumption that the spouse is the parent cannot be rebutted by genetic testing. After all, to allow rebuttal with genetics would undo the whole point of extending the presumption to couples using donor gametes and many states have statutes specifically extending the presumption to that setting. IN fact, in those states that have this law and that allow same-sex couples to marry, the spouse claiming the presumption could be female.

      • Ah but you are thinking of him trying to rebut it with genetic testing and get out of a financial obligation. If she tried to rebut it and had someone else in mind or simply decided she was through with him wanted a divorce and nothing more to do with him, she could prove he was not the father with genetic testing and say she did not know who the father was and that would be that. He’d have no claim to her child absent her consent.

        • Nope. She cannot. The law does not allow her to rebut the presumption. And the other person cannot rebut it either.

          • We’ve discussed this before and you said that she probably could. Nobody could force her to have him named as father if it was not his offspring. If she divorced him right before her child was born or quickly thereafter and wanted to name her new husband instead, your saying he’d have a legal right to be named father of her child without there being positive paternity?

            There have most certainly been cases with embryos on ice where the father was a donor but the ex-husband had signed on to be the father but she might decide to go it alone or have her new husband be the father. And the ex wife of a man with embryos he created with a donor female, she would not have a claim to be the mother of his offspring. He could have them inplanted in a surrogate or his new wife.

            I have to find where we discussed this before but you said that in fact it really is all in the mothers hands she could change her minds.

      • Well sure if they are going to extend the presumption they’d have to do it to either gender I’m fair minded enough to see that which is why I think extending the presumption is stupid in either case but that is not the point of my comment. They’ll extend the presumption if they are colluding to allow the false presumption to stand but the reality of it is that a married woman could never challenge the presumption of paternity of her own husband and win if he’s genetically related to her child as the father. She could in theory decide she did not want her spouse to be listed as the father and she would win because he has no claim to her child absent her consent. Being married does not give the spouse the right to be the parent of her child and neither does the donor agreement – it all hinges on her and what she wants to do which I think is way to much power but is really kind of up your alley

      • that was a specific statute created for the purpose of facilitating sperm donation and thus should not be used as a model for non ART conception.
        However, Another purpose is to ensure that divorced husbands would not divorce the child too and leave them as the state’s responsibility. This aspect of the law is similar to the marital presumption.
        The ART statute specifically requires that the husband consent to the procedure, if he does not, he has an opening to reject the assignment of paternity. In this, it is similar to the marital presumption, because the husband also has an opportunity to reject the assignment of parenthood.
        But it also differs from the marital presumption because in non ART cases, it makes no difference whether or not the husband consented for his wife to have sex with the plumber, he still is allowed to rebut paternity. But maybe that’s because the law assumes it would be a rare case indeed in which the husband consented.
        The whole point is that the marital presumption and the sperm donor statute are related but different laws and one can not be used to prove something about the other.
        I agree the legal trend is to extend the marital presumption to include females spouses, something which you can be sure that Same Sex Marriage activists did not feature when trying to sell SSM to the non-queer community as a human rights issue.

        • I think it’s important in cases where there is a separation that the non biological parent is still held accountable for the child to help prevent a rejection of that child. I’ve read too many heartbreaking stories of men who got divorced and rejected a child who was donor conceived. It ends up damaging the child forever.

          Though I do know a guy whose children were DC got divorced and has never rejected his children. He is a model father IMO.

          • true but the state can’t legislate love only money

          • Well and the law is there to prevent legal fathers from fully rejecting their kids as in disowning and cutting off support and ties. Whether the kid is their offspring or not, if he’s the legal father the law will hold him accountable after he’s divorced.

            • I was referring to emotional rejection. You can still financially support a child and not have an acting parenting role in their lives. DODs situation is an example I was referring to where the dad basically rejects the person as their child.

              That is something laws can’t enforce.

              • True. But the law is all the kid has left to protect their interests when the parent, be they bio or non, looses interest and tries to walk away. It’s like that little bit of dignity that they remain entitled to the care and support of their parents. So even if they totally ditch out and can’t be found leaving the rights intact makes an important statement.

                • It really doesn’t matter in the long run emotionally if their dad financially supports them. Look at DOD her dad who rejected her. He supported her financially but was never really a parent. The financial support does nothing to help her cope with her pain. The only thing it does is alleviate the state from being liable at some point for providing financial child support.

        • Working from the bottom up: I think (at least by implication) access to the marital presumption was a selling point marriage discussion. There’s a lot about making same-sex families legitimate, for instance. Possibly people didn’t discuss the marital presumption per se (because I’m not sure many people really give it any thought), but I think the idea that rules of marriage generally would embrace same-sex families was front and center. But I also think this is probably an unimportant point and you could be right/I could be wrong.

          The history of the marriage presumption and ART is complicated. The marriage presumption is very old and in general used to be stronger. It was very difficult to rebut and thus really was a way to ensure the husbands had to support children who it was widely known weren’t genetically related to them. Over time, the marital presumption has weakened and is now found in many and varying forms. In general I’d say a husband/wife standing together can use it to defeat other claims to legal parenthood but if they do not stand together, either can use genetics to defeat it.

          Now at the same time, along came ART. The presumption in ART really followed from the marital presumption. In some states it was seen as a special case but in some states (NY?) there is not special statute for an ART presumption–it’s just another instance in which the marital presumption applies.

          But as the ability to use genetics to rebut the marital presumption expanded, people saw there would be a problem in the ART cases. Because of course everyone knew that there was no genetic connection. And so the use of genetics to rebut was restricted, either by statute or by court action, in a lot of places.

          All of which is to say that they do have a common origin, but they also have grown to operate separately. I don’t know what that means about using one to throw light on the other–which is really what I want to do.

          And you’re right about the spouse’s consent being necessary. That’s key.

          • But the whole thing hinges on having reached an assumed consensus between the two bio parents and the partner of one of the bio parents, right? There is the assumed consent of the absent bio parent who presumably signed a consent form with the cryobank but there is no proof cause they don’t do it in court but its assumed. Then there is the consent of the spouse agreeing to raise the child that is not his offspring and he says he’ll never rebut the presumption. The expectant mother does not sign a form saying that she won’t rebut the presumption does she? I mean like the one he signs? What if they divorced while she was pregnant.

  5. How many parents are there at birth when a pregnant 15 year old comes in to the hospital and delivers a baby?

    • 2 if the genetic father is known. 1 if he is not.

      • There are always two Ki, whether one or both are absent is not the point there are always two. That’s why courts try to find two biological parents if a baby is left on a doorstep before terminating their rights/obligations and allowing an adoption to go through. Even after the adoption goes thru the kid has two parents and two adoptive parents – the two sets of family adopted people have. Maternal and paternal relatives and adopted family.

    • Really? We let fifteen year old minors be the legal guardians of children? I figured we would find an adult to be the legal parent. What if she was 13? And what if the father was known, but was 32, or say, her uncle? Would he be the a legal parent?

      And how about that Attleboro Cult family where the state took custody of the family’s child while the mother was still pregnant, locked her up in the hospital and took the baby right from the delivery room? Was the mother a legal parent in that case?

      My point is simply that there is not always one, even birth mothers with genetic connections can have the state step in. And sometimes adoptions are arranged before birth, isn’t that so? So Julie’s quest for a single uniform rule that applies in every case is shot down right out the gate. The state is always putting the child’s best interest before any agreements or uniform laws, as well it should.

      • john you are confusing parent with guardian. in some cases a parent is unfit to have authority over a child in which case a court may appoint someone else as a guardian. that does not mean they are no longer a parent. stripping them of their parental status is a separate and far more complicated procedure.
        there are many 15 year olds btw who are both the legal parent of their children with no guardian necessary. just saying.
        as for the 32 year old father, he would be convicted of rape and serve time in jail but that would not make him automatically a non parent. upon release he could petition for custody and visitation if he wished, unless he had been stripped of parental status via a court procedure under due process in the interim, which as i said is a separate procedure.

        • Ah so things have changed and you can see where its important to at least record the truth and then deal with it plainly by stripping contact or custody or whatever. That’s cool.

        • When someone is stripped of parental status, is their name taken off their child’s birth certificate? Do they stop being the child’s parent, or just their child’s legal parent? Are “foster parents” parents or guardians?

          My point remains that there is not always one parent with the Attleboro Cult family, who were stripped of parental status and their child immediately taken into state custody and probably adopted by legal parents. Was that child’s birth certificate changed, or perhaps just sealed?

          • i believe that whenever an adoption occurs, a new birth certificate is issued but TAO would know more about that.
            I don’t think a new birth certificate is issued as long as the child is still a ward of the state.
            The old birth certificate isn’t gotten rid of; the state keeps a copy.

          • I’m the expert here. I’ve reunited lots of people who aged out of foster care whose parents parental rights were stripped to the bone. They had no right to their child at all.

            The child however and the child’s identity their kinship rights their right to social security death benefits if they are a minor when their parent dies their right to inherit….all totally intact.

            Its time we wake up and realize that this country does not have to strip people of their identities and their rights in order to simply raise them until adulthood. The state does not come in and erase the names of the parents when their rights are terminated. Also the birth certificate is not what gives the adoptive parents authority over the child. Its the adoption decree signed by the judge that gave them parental authority. The birth record does not have to change at all the minors rights within their own family could remain intact if the state were not offering falsified records to adoptive parents as a way to turn adopted kids into their ‘forever children”. Its 100% indentured servitude. Adopted people are making good on a promise that they will pretend to be the as if born child of their adoptive parents and their records are falsified and their true identities are sealed so they can’t run away. They can reunite with their families but its not legally recognized. They have to stay the forever child of whoever adopted them. They don’t get to go back to being their real selves at 18 they have to keep being the as-if born to child of the people that adopted them. It is so incredibly horrid that in this day and age we allow people to be treated like property this way that their rights are up for auction when they are in need of care as minors. Its truly sick that they have to pretend to be someone else’s child in order to receive food and care and shelter and love while they are under 18. They should not have to do a GD thing or be anyone other than who they actually are to deserve to be taken care of.

            The only way to fix the problem is to correct the current birth record rather than requesting a copy of the original. By correcting the current one the adoption is not undone. The adoption decree is proof of the adoption. There is a name change associated with the adoption that proves the new name. The birth certificate just needs to be accurate.

            Adopted people have their identities sold as part of the agreement. Its not necessary

        • And when guardians are the functional parents at birth because the mother is a minor, doesn’t that mean, according to Julie’s rule about never disrupting the child’s relationships, that they ought to be made legal parents?

        • A guardian is a legalized baby sitter rather than a parent. Their responsibility is to provide the necessities for the child for however long they are required to do so (until they are 18 years old max). Unless they are blood related a Guardian is never a family or a parent to a child. They are just someone who watched them when there was no one to watch them.

          For children who need someone to just watch them Guardianship provides that. But for children who need families Guardianship does not provide a child with what they need. Some people believe Guardianship provides children with families when in reality it doesn’t. Once that child is 18 they are on their own with no one to support them. That’s the unfortunate fate of those children who age out of Foster Care with no families. It’s really sad to see.

          • If every person in need of someone to raise them could keep their true identity and kinship and just be worthy of being raised to adulthood without having to do anything in exchange for it that would be so wonderful. They should not have to give up their kinship or their identity or information about who their bio parents and relatives are just in order to be raised. How screwed up is that they have to actually give up all that and sometimes must even perform play a roll act as if they are someone they are not someone who never existed. It’s like they are not good enough just who they are they have to put on a big show in order to get food and clothing. The show has to last a lifetime not just 18 years. I’m sorry but what you want I think Greg is for someone who is not a bio parent to actually get on board the baby train early enough in the process to insert themselves into the same position as a bio parent where they are at the top of the chain of authority where they are the original party who got to determine the destiny of the born person and there is no way to do that. The person whose offspring it is will always be at the front of that custody chain there is no way around it. They had to choose not to raise their offspring in order that anyone else would have a chance to play that roll.

            • Again if what the child needs is a family then Legalized Babysitting is not for them. A child can be or You favor Legalized Babysitting because of your anti non biological parent stance. That’s fine but it doesn’t provide a family for a child that needs one for a lifetime. That’s why adoption exists for those that need a family for a lifetime. It’s sad that you would deny a child a family that needs one because of your anti non biological parent stance and obsession with irrelevant kinship non sense. You were lucky and have a family and these kids don’t have one, very selfish if you ask me.

              • Why do you think kinship is irrelevant? You have it

                • Because kinship doesn’t give people or deny people as much as you believe. If it’s a case of inheritance there are wills for that.

                  • I have a nice long list. I’m real confident about it. Spent plenty of time researching it. In fact it is why we are so wound up in this back and forth because it does carry so much weight. That is why it is important not to terminate it and try and just replace it with connections to random people that paid for it or received it as a gift.

                  • LOL, I’m sure most of it means little. The reality is unless they’re rejected by their non biological dad, they have their family and all the kinship rights they need.

                    You were also confident that “Adoptive Parenthood” was a real phrase and have yet to prove it…..;-)

                  • Greg
                    You wrote “You were also confident that “Adoptive Parenthood” was a real phrase and have yet to prove it…..;-)”

                    Below are just a small handful of examples Greg. You are so smug with me. I’m not making up what I say. There are horrible inconsistencies in how the law recognizes people as having parental authority and those disparities result in the freedom and rights of people being compromised. All I have ever suggested is to even out the rules so everyone is treated the same when they have offspring. Its not a hateful stance at all.

                    42 USC § 673 – (a) Agreements with adoptive parents of children with special needs; State payments; qualifying children; amount of payments; changes in circumstances; …”

                    http://www.scscourt.org/self_help/probate/adoption/independent_adoption.shtml
                    “The law says the adoptive parents must be at least 10 years older than the child being adopted. ”
                    “…the parents can give the child to the adoptive parents during the adoption proceedings. The adoption proceedings usually take about 6 months to complete.”

                    CA FAMILY.CODE SECTION 8800
                    “…represented by the attorney representing the prospective adoptive parents.”
                    “…representing the prospective adoptive parents shall inform the prospective adoptive parents…”

                    CA FAMILY CODE 8615.5
                    “Legislature finds and declares that some adoptive children may benefit from….”
                    CAL. WIC. CODE § 366.26 : California Code – Section 366.26
                    “(1)Terminate the rights of the parent or parents and order that the child be placed for adoption and…”

                  • In none of what you posted and in the link provided is the phrase “Adoptive Parenthood” used. So there were no “small handful of examples”. There were zero examples. Tess is right you post links in thinking you prove something when in reality you never do. Nice try though trying to make up more stuff.

                  • Greg because it really is not necessary to say “birth” before parent unless you are talking about a specific person whose already got multiple people competing for the same title post placement. Prior to placement it really is not appropriate at all to have a qualifier on it because the child has not been adopted and has no adoptive parents and the parents are still just parents having nobody next in line taking over their duties. So when the code discusses procedures for adoption it often looks like this
                    CAL. WIC. CODE § 366.26 : California Code – Section 366.26
                    “(1)Terminate the rights of the parent or parents and order that the child be placed for adoption and…”
                    The assumption is that unqualified parental title means that the child in question is that person’s offspring. That is why telling the truth is so critical because the child will assume they are a person’s offspring if they don’t qualify their parental title

                  • Stop bringing the law into your arguments. They don’t help your cause they only hurt it because they make no sense. Of course birth parents don’t exist unless there is an adoption. But neither do adoptive parents.

                • as the self appointed language police i say this is a ridiculous argument. there is such a word as adopt and there is such a word as adoptive . there is such a word as parent and there is such a word as parenthood. and the meaning is rather clear.
                  as for parent as a verb, well it has entered standard english by this time, so while its gramatically correct, it remains conceptually problematic, being as often relates to being a parent as a job rather than a relationship.

                  • What part is ridiculous? Using the term or arguing over whether it’s real?

                  • its like saying beautiful is a word and woman is a word but beautiful woman isn’t a word.

                  • the argument is not so much about language as ideology

                  • Ok, I get what you are saying. Like if someone had an anti non biological parent ideology as Marilynn does she would use the phrase “Adoptive Parenthood” to demean adoptive parents. And if someone like myself who supports all types of Parenthood, I just call it Parenthood because parenting a child is parenting a child no matter what the parent’s relation is to the child.

                  • no i think anyone would use the phrase adoptive parent (or some permutation thereoff) in a discussion that discusses how one becomes a legal parent. in fact i can not think of another way to express it. can you?
                    perhaps its not the phrase itself thats bothering you but how it was juxtaposed to a genetic parent? (and i don’t even remember that far back in the discussion, just conjecturing).

                  • “perhaps its not the phrase itself thats bothering you but how it was juxtaposed to a genetic parent? (and i don’t even remember that far back in the discussion, just conjecturing).”

                    Exactly! What bothers me is that Marilynn uses it when referencing birth parents and adoptive parents. She purposely leaves out the phrase “birth” and just calls them parents and adoptive parents. It implies one set are the real parents while the other aren’t.

                    If you are going to compare one to the other and want a clear definition of who each set is call them both what they are which are birth parents and adoptive parents. That is fair to both sets of parents. Both are very real parents. One set is not above the other as Marilynn feels. They are different in their roles. The former conceived and gave birth to the child while the other is raising and parenting. Nothing wrong with that.

            • Again if what the child needs is a family then Legalized Babysitting is not for them. A child can be provided the things they need to survive until they turn 18 by Legalized Babysitting, they just don’t have families after they turn 18. You favor Legalized Babysitting because of your anti non biological parent stance. That’s fine but it doesn’t provide a family for a child that needs one for a lifetime. That’s why adoption exists for those that need a family for a lifetime. It’s sad that you would deny a child a family that needs one because of your anti non biological parent stance and obsession with irrelevant kinship non sense. You were lucky and have a family and these kids don’t have one, very selfish if you ask me.

      • Well they’d better write down the names of the child’s parents because it’s the truth and legally recognize them as the child’s parents. Maybe neither one of them is fit to provide custodial care but it does not change the fact that those are the kids parents.

        When will people stop acting like they can just change the truth if they don’t like what it looks like? Record the truth and if there is a functional problem with the truth then make other arrangements for the child’s care. Don’t just pretend they are not parents.

        • It’s funny that you say let’s not pretend they aren’t parents when you yourself like to pretend that parents through adoption aren’t the “real” parents.

          • real is a subjective term

            • Agreed, but in this case it’s used to minimize and degrade one set of parents.

              • That’s not why people say it. They say it because that’s the colloquial expression we have come to use to refer to the birth parents. There is no intent to degrade or insult the adoptive parents. Even if we all stopped saying “real” you’d be upset if people said “birth parents” or even “progenitors.” You just don’t like that there are such things as birth parents or progenitors, which shows who is intent on minimizing and degrading one set of parents.

                • It’s why Marilynn says it. If you notice she doesn’t call the birth parents such she calls them “parents” and refers to the parents through adoption as adoptive parents. It implies the birth parents are “real” patents while the adoptive parents aren’t. If she did call the birth parents such I would agree with you.

                  But it all goes back to her general dislike of non biological parents. I’m not sure what in her life has caused her to have this dislike. I would like it know so I had a better understanding of it.

                  • Greg have you noticed my special efforts when speaking directly to you? This whole thread is littered with me erasing the term adoptive parents and instead writing (parents by adopiton social etc etc.) Yes Greg I can and have just for you when I talk to you out of respect.

                    Part of my whole point is not that they would be second class but simply second in line by virtue of the fact that everyone has bodily autonomy and nobody should have parental authority over someone else’s offspring without their express knowledge and permission and that there is the transfer that society generally concerns itself with because there are unethical bio parents in the world that will take money not to raise their kids, to keep quiet and allow someone else to name themselves on an orig birth record as a parent where biological relatedness is absolutely an expectation.

                  • “Greg have you noticed my special efforts when speaking directly to you? This whole thread is littered with me erasing the term adoptive parents and instead writing (parents by adopiton social etc etc.) Yes Greg I can and have just for you when I talk to you out of respect.”

                    No, I’ve noticed the same anti non biological parent non sense from you that you always have. You don’t get it. It’s not the use of “Adoptive Parent”. It’s when you compare “Adoptive Parents” to “Parents”. You imply one set is real while the other isn’t. When you make the comparison it should be “Birth or First Parents” and “Adoptive Parents. Adding that “Birth or First” takes away your intentional insensitivity. Everyone will still know who are referring to.

                    “Part of my whole point is not that they would be second class but simply second in line by virtue of the fact that everyone has bodily autonomy and nobody should have parental authority over someone else’s offspring ”

                    They aren’t second in line. You saying they are is more proof of your anti non biological parent stance. More and more you are proving me correct.

                  • Your a dirty sneaky trick misquoting me by leaving the end of my sentence off. Your aware that when you quote only part of someone’s statement you’re supposed to put a “…” because otherwise its a complete misrepresentation of my opinion.

                    I don’t think nobody should have parental authority over anyone else’s offspring period; the rest of that sentence described the very important aspects of consent and investigation into the reason and whether or not there was a contract that treated offspring as property.

                  • “I don’t think nobody should have parental authority over anyone else’s offspring period; ”

                    Thank you for finally admitting in so many words that you don’t believe non biological parents are real parents. You believe in Guardianship which is Legalized Babysitting for children who don’t have families or need to be removed from their families. I’m glad you were able to do that after a lot of back and forth where you denied it. There is nothing wrong with having that opinion. Though I strongly disagree with you.

                  • Greg its not the first time you have not read carefully again I am not of the opinion that nobody should have parental authority over other people’s offspring – I’m of the opinion that very stringent rules be followed prior to recognizing parental authority of anyone other than a bio parent because there is so much opportunity for the exploitation of children.

                    “gsmwc02 | February 1, 2014 at 11:53 am |
                    “I don’t think nobody should have parental authority over anyone else’s offspring period; ”

                    Thank you for finally admitting in so many words that you don’t believe non biological parents are real parents. You believe in Guardianship which is Legalized Babysitting for children who don’t have families or need to be removed from their families. I’m glad you were able to do that after a lot of back and forth where you denied it. There is nothing wrong with having that opinion. Though I strongly disagree with you.”

                  • No, you are in favor of non biological adults raising a child to be legalized babysitter rather than parents. You believe they are second in line and second class parents. Though your brother has a much different opinion. Maybe you were jealous of the relationship he had with your dad and that’s where your dislike of non biological parents comes from. That would make a lot of sense why it’s hard for you to admit your dislike of non biological parents.

                  • speculating about people’s personal life is really none of your business. no one owes an explanation as to what there personal motivations are, and speculating into people’s personal lives beyond what they’ve chosen to share is invasive.

                • agreed

                  • agreed to John not to your statement Greg. True of what John said. I don’t want to degrade or demean anyone. I live in the real world and I refer to people in relationship to other people as clearly as I possibly can in these forums which are for the specific purpose for discussing people and their legally recognized position in relation to other individuals. I’m chiefly concerned with the ways in which people obtain possession and control of minors that are not their own offspring because there is so much potential there for the minor to be objectified, purchased, given as a gift, treated as property by both bio and unrelated individuals. I don’t have anything at all against someone raising another persons offspring. The problem I have is with making human beings and parental title the object of a private contract. I have a problem with perfectly healthy educated employed adults with no violent criminal histories abandoning their parental obligations to offspring in order to supply childless persons with someone to love and raise as their child. Only if you are a true f-up incapable of raising a kid should people be relinquishing like there is just no other way than to have another person take care of the kid. This current system is as close to manufacturing products as it gets.

                  • Then again it comes all back to your approach which I’ve explained 1,000x’s. When referring to birth/first parents and adoptive parents, describing what their roles are you need to stop referring to one set as the parents and the other set as the adoptive parents. What you are implying is that one set is real and the other set is a second class parent. Instead when making this reference if you want to use the phrase “Adoptive Parents” refer to the other set as the “Birth or First Parents”. This way you are clearly defining who you are referencing and what each sets role is. You aren’t implying one set is the real set of parents while the other is a second class type of parents.

                    Are you able to do that and change your approach?

          • Greg how a person obtains the child they are raising is a critical human rights issue. The prefix adoptive is an indication that an unrelated person did all they can do within the law to obtain parental authority over another person’s child in a manner that is supposed to be respectful of their human rights not to be the object of a contract for their custody or control. Adoption has many ethical problems to resolve but currently it is evidence of an attempt to act in an ethical manner and I have tremendous respect for individuals who have the wherewithal to put themselves through the ringer as prospective parents by adoption do. Our fearless leader here did take the time to go through the adoptive process. There is much to be said for that. It’s not perfect, it needs revising but its the best and most ethical option available at the moment and smart adoptive parents know the best way to get and stay close to the child they adopted is to be an advocate for their human rights and their civil liberties.

            • Who you are raised by is not a human rights issue. It’s a joke to those actually suffering human rights issues.

              • It’s not about who a person is raised by. What we say is a wrong is treating people like property or products to be produced for people who want kids to serve their own desires, instead of promoting a culture where people feel responsible for raising and caring for their offspring (and – here’s where M and I disagree – feeling responsible and caring for the other progenitor of their offspring too).

                • So the desire to have children and a family to not be outcasted by society is wrong in your mind?

                  • How can a desire be wrong? Desires just are.

                  • But you are saying that filling those desires is wrong sir then the desires themselves must be wrong as well. If you felt the desires were right then filling them must be right as well.

                  • No the desire is not wrong and filling the desire is not wrong either so long as that in filling the desire you are not undermining another person’s right to be cared for by their own parents undermining their identity sequestering them from their relatives. If you make your own kid, you are not doing that. If you accept responsibility for a child that has been abandoned by their parents for reasons unrelated to providing you with a child its fine, cause your helping provide a solution for an abandoned child. But paying a fee to a service that pays people to abandon their offspring that is very objectifying

                  • “If you accept responsibility for a child that has been abandoned by their parents for reasons unrelated to providing you with a child its fine, cause your helping provide a solution for an abandoned child.”

                    So for you Marilynn legalized babysitting is the only acceptable way for an adult with no biological connection to a child to be required to care for that child. That’s the only thing the childless are good for in your mind. I’m glad we cleared that up.

                • Yes that is a spot on analysis.

                  • I mean John accurately described the similarities and differences in his and my opinions

                  • Surely studies have shown that society is improved when progenitors are married and feel responsibility and love toward each other, and is harmed when children are created by uncommitted couples? I’m not sure how such a study would be done, but intuitively we know that divorce and strife are bad and harmony and love are good, right?

                    And don’t you think it treats children like products to condone intentional conception by unmarried progenitors who plan on splitting up the kid by forming separate families? Doesn’t it treat children like products to let people create children using donor gametes, whether the donor is recorded on the birth certificate and made a legal parent or not?

                  • No, I don’t John. Because if you use that logic then all conception results in a product being created out of selfish reasons. If we use that logic divorce and separation where there is a child should be outlawed because that separates families.

                    Do you see how that closed minded narrow view of things is flawed?

                  • No Greg divorce does not separate the child legally from their family I don’t know why you keep saying that. The law is that both parents still need to support their children. The child’s identity is not changed just because their parents are divorced. The child looses no legal rights because of divorce.

                  • Sending the children to live with other people who will change their identities and taking away their rights within their own families is totally nothing like having their parents divorce.

                  • Divorce separates a child legally from one parent. They are forced to live with one parent and are only allowed visitation with the other. Divorce is family separation whether you choose to accept it or not.

                • Objectifying the child is to set things up so that the child owes you the adult something or so that you the adult are owed a child. Not objectifying the child is to set things up so that you the adult owe the child you created something. So as long as the parents who created the child are making good on their obligation to the child and are not trying to sell their parental title to someone else – you know the child is getting what the are owed what they deserve. Its more wonderful when parents are married and blissfully in love but honestly if that had to happen before children were created the population would totally die out so that is very likely why marriage just is not necessary to make a baby. but the law has to be there to make sure that people take care of the babies they make and is also there to prevent exploitation by their parents and others. I just find the idea of worrying about marriage to be an enormous waste of time because there is no human rights violation there and if you focus just on the marriage part of you’d be excluding all the kids whose parents are not married.

                  • The only thing that is owed to a child is that they are provided for and parented by someone or some couple. A child is not owed for their parents to be or stayed married. Divorce and separation ruin children but I don’t think that should be outlawed.

                  • By someone or some couple? So its totally fine to buy a child so long as their provided for? How about kidnapping a kid? Provide for them thats just fine.

                  • There is no child bought with donor conception a cell is purchased to create a child. There is no child at the time of agreement. You can’t kidnap sperm or eggs.

                  • Greg there is no child at the time of the agreement. But the agreement is for parental title and custody of another person’s biological child that is the donor agreement that they sign it just allows for people to undertake a black market adoption.

                  • That’s so off the wall it’s insanity. The term Black Market Adoption is so insane it’s become comical. The agreement all takes place prior to conception there is no adoption because the child is born into a family not adopted into one.

                  • Requiring IVF clinics to only join a married couple’s own egg and sperm, and shutting down sperm banks and craigslist sales, would not change a thing for kids whose parents are not married. As long as unmarried couples publicly claimed the pregnancy was unintentional, they’d be treated just like unmarried parents are now.

                    Yes, there may be a drop in the number of babies being born, but come on, the population will not die out if we shut down sperm banks! Sheesh.

                    Now, I do think we should not reward people who would go ahead and break those laws by considering them fit parents, like we do for many other crimes, and it wouldn’t be worse as far as those kids are concerned anyway. We’d make sure they went to good homes, because there would certainly be a lot more families willing to adopt a child, and we wouldn’t lie on their birth certificates.

                    There is a human rights violation in equating the rights of marriage to unmarried or same-sex couples, because unmarried and same-sex couples do not have an official affirmative right to procreate offspring, so equating them implies that neither do married couples, and that’s a human rights violation. Marriage and procreation are basic rights of man.

                  • “We’d make sure they went to good homes, because there would certainly be a lot more families willing to adopt a child, ”

                    Wrong, the number of families willing to adopt wouldn’t change either way. People who would have find through 3PR only do so because they want at least one parent to have a genetic connection. Adoption doesn’t do that, so you are dead wrong on that end.

                    What you would be doing is adding more children to an already overloaded Foster Care system. Hence you’d be punishing the child growing up in the Foster Care system rather than a stable home.

                  • Greg, if people who use 3pr “only do so because they want at least one parent to have a genetic connection,” how is that any different from saying that they want at least one parent to be a “real parent”? Isn’t that saying the same thing?

                    And of course banning 3PR would increase the number of kids adopted out of foster care, and it would increase the number of families willing to be foster parents too. They won’t have any other options if they want to have some kids to parent.

                  • John no offense but you are off base here. If you banned 3PR those people are not going to adopt from the Foster Care system. Those people would likely remain childless. If you believe otherwise it shows how uninformed you are on the childless by circumstance community.

                  • In addition it shows how uninformed you are on the Foster Care system. Not everyone is meant to adopt these kids nor should they. Your last sentence commodities children making it seem like any child would due for the childless even the kids in the Foster Care system. It’s not really fair to them.

                  • Greg if you purchased a cell from someone else could you say that it was your cell? What part of it is yours? Is the cell yours but the dna not? what part of the cell does not have dna in it? Is the child created yours but the dna in the child not yours? What part of the child has no dna in it? If its your cell then wouldn’t your dna be in it? Do you now have the right to say that you have double the dna of the average guy? Like if the donor committed a murder would you be willing to take the blame cause its YOUR dna cause you paid for it? THEIR DNA THEIR KID, someone else raising their kid. Fat abandonment issues. Really in my opinion I think the abandonment issues are far more severe with donor offspring than with adopted people because of either the commercial aspect of why their parent gave them up or the altruistic aspect of why their parent gave them up. I don’t typically talk about the psychological stuff because it acomplishes nothing to advance their cause, but I know you prefer to talk emotion. I know quite a few donor offspring and adopted people almost all have known all their lives and they almost all were raised by very loving and attentive individuals and were not rejected by their (parents of the step, social or black/grey/white market adoptive variety) and it does not seem to make a difference who wants them obviously abandonment issues are generated from feeling unwanted by one or both bio parents. Being wanted by others is nice but it does not change the factual rejection by the bio parent and obviously rejection is frequently perceived as not a positive thing.

                  • John this is hands down the most brilliant thing I’ve heard this year

                    “Greg, if people [mate with donors] “only do so because they want at least one parent to have a genetic connection,” how is that any different from saying that they want at least one parent to be a “real parent”? Isn’t that saying the same thing?

                  • The cell belongs to another person that they donated (thus they are a donor). That cell is combined with another cell that forms a human being. In the case of sperm donation the dad raising the child doesn’t share the child’s DNA. But he is a big part of the child’s biography. He has to be because if he doesn’t he gives you want you live for and that is a damaged DC person. The reality is when DC persons are not rejected by that non bio parent they don’t hurt. Saying they love their parents doesn’t mean much if they are rejected by their non biological parent. Most people love their parents even if their parents treat them poorly.

                    You should stick to the emotional stuff because you are completely overwhelmed by the legalities of these topics. You sound rather uninformed when you go down the legalities road because you have no idea what you are talking about. When I asked you to show me where in the law it said that “Adoptive Parenthood” was a real phrase you couldn’t do it, because it doesn’t exist you made it up.

                  • Greg there is a whole section of the California code devoted to prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents are discussed in the U.S. code. Adoptive parents terms like by blood or adoption sure it has to be used to differentiate how a person got control of a child.

                  • “Greg there is a whole section of the California code devoted to prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents are discussed in the U.S. code.”

                    Where does it use the phrase “Adoptive Parenthood” and discuss what the phrase means?

              • Bull sht Greg who you are raised by is absolutely a human rights issue if they bought you or got you as a gift or kidnapped you. My God what the heck are you thinking. If your raised by someone who paid a fee to have your bio parent not raise you and paid a fee so they could claim to be your parent your owned you don’t have freedom. Your a house pet Greg. Well kept and put on a leash not free to go and be yourself your identifying papers are held hostage your totally in service to the people you were sold off to. Its absolutely horrid. I can’t believe you’d say its not a human rights issue. That is the whole reason we have adoption proceedings to begin with because not being raised by your bio parents is an opportunity a possibility that the bio parent is not absent out of need but absent out of some sort of commercial or charitable reason.

                • Whose being kidnapped? The answer is no one. No one is being forced into child labor camps. These are just kids being raised by adults some of which they aren’t biologically related too. And if you are going to say they are it’s an even bigger joke.

                  These conversations are starting to become comical on your end. It’s hard to take them seriously when terms are being made up and there is continued exaggeration.

                  • They bought them greg
                    They were given them as gifts

                  • You need to really take a look at all the blogs of donor offspring and of adopted people. I’m not making this up. I did not rev daughter of a donor up into taking legal action, she took it first and I applaud her for it. Wake up. Stop trying to play like I’m saying something totally off the wall – I’m only echoing their words because they make so much damn sense. They are logical and clear and specific and ignored, belittled degraded and demeaned by people like you Greg that mock the legal restrictions that they live with. By people like Tess that call their differential treatment imaginary.

                  • No they didn’t buy them. There was no them. There was sperm not a person.

                    Adoption is completely different than 3PR on so many levels. It’s like comparing my infertility story to yours. Not really applicable.

                  • Greg
                    Adoption is the legal means by which a person obtains parental authority over another person’s offspring.

                    What would make an adoption be “black market”?

                    First answer is money but that just makes it child selling. Typically this might be discovered in the investigation process for a legal adoption. It might also be discovered after a legal adoption.

                    What makes it black market?

                    Off the record out of court agreement prior to birth possibly even conception so that the biological parent is never even recorded as having offspring available for other people to adopt. There is no record that the biological parent has offspring and the people that want to raise the bio parent’s offspring simply name themselves as parents when the child is born. Their agreement the entire exchange happens under the table out of court as in black market. Just like goods bought and sold or given off the record where no taxes are paid and no income is recorded.

                    Nobody calls this black market adoption because that makes it sound yucky and they’ve found a very tidy way to get children black market adopted and that is to say that its all fine because it happens before the child even is born. But listen most black market adoptions do require consensus and agreement prior to the birth of a child in order that the bio parents are never recorded as parents. Heck Nuns at hospitals used to shuffle babies off, doctors did it – everyone supposedly had a gentleman’s agreement not to say anything and then they’d sign birth records that said the prospective adoptive mother had given birth and that her husband was the father. It is no different than that. The children are not the offspring of the people who are named parents on their birth record they were not donor conceived what they were is black market adopted cause there is no record of them having been given up to be raised by people who are not their bio parents.

                  • DC is not an adoption calling it Black Market Adoption makes no sense because it’s not an adoption. The child isn’t transferred for one family to another. The child is born into that family, thus no adoption necessary. That is all worked out prior to conception.

                  • greg
                    “DC is not an adoption calling it Black Market Adoption makes no sense because it’s not an adoption.

                    The child is not transferred from one family to another? Yes they are. You do understand that a gamete donor’s agreement to abandon his parental responsibilities takes effect UPON THE BIRTH OF ANY OFFSPRING BORN as a result of their contractual reproductive services. So the donor becomes a bio parent the moment his kids are born right? They are his offspring and are biological members of his family just as much as they are biological members of the mothers family. Well the donor signed an agreement that says he won’t take care of them when they are born. So when they are born and he begins being absent and neglectfull is when he makes good on the terms of his earlier agreement. Sure all he gives up at first is his sperm, but he promised to give up his kids as well when they are born. If he did not promise that and then follow up by making good on his promise, nobody would want his sperm.

                    Of course they are a member of both their bio families you cannot get around that. They are no less a grandchild or sibling or nephew. Their parent’s inaction makes it no less dangerous for them to have children with their first cousins. They are indeed abandoned by their bio parent and then taken up by someone or nobody – the donor has no idea if anyone will perform on his behalf. Anyone that comes along and puts their name on the birth record if they are not the other bio parent is short cutting the adoptive process one normally takes to gain parental authority over another person’s offspring

                    The child isn’t transferred for one family to another. The child is born into that family, thus no adoption necessary. That is all worked out prior to conception.”

                  • What is so hard for you to understand that there is no child at the time of donation? Sperm or an egg is not a child. Thus there is no child to be transferred. Case closed. No use in discussing this further if you are unable to comprehend that.

                  • Greg”What is so hard for you to understand that there is no child at the time of donation? Sperm or an egg is not a child. Thus there is no child to be transferred. Case closed.”
                    OK Greg then how would you feel if the law changed and said that the donor agreement could no longer contain language or terms that related to the relinquishment of their parental rights and obligations upon the birth of their offspring? If you truly don’t believe that the donor is giving up their parental title or parental obligations at birth when their offspring actually exist then and you really think that all they give up is sperm or eggs then fine. You don’t object to my proposal of limiting their little agreements to disposition of the sperm and eggs only and having the disposition of their offspring specifically excluded and clearly stated that they are still just as responsible as parents for any of their offspring born as they would be under any other circumstance. Make it crystal clear that donation of sperm and eggs should in no way be construed as the donor transferring his parental authority or title over his or her own offspring to the party who buys the egg or sperm.

                    If you want to stand firm on there being no transfer of the donors child then put it in writing cause the way it is now the contract says they give up their kid but the working title they give for the job describes a much less repulsive act than is actually occurring.

  6. I guess (perhaps like Kisarita) I’m not really sure why you don’t like the genetic route to legal parentage here. I understand why you don’t like genetics as the sole route, and why you don’t like the use of genetics to undo functional parent-child relationships, but you can avoid both of those without ruling out genetics as a route to legal parentage. A genetic father has a real and substantial interest in the child he’s genetically related to, in the same way we are invested in all of our genetic ties (especially a parental one, where you participated in creating the child and half the child’s DNA came from that participation), and simply letting the birth mother exclude him from participation in parenting if she doesn’t want him involved doesn’t really seem fair to me.

    I guess I’m also skeptical of gestation as a foundation for parentage on the functional approach. At least, I don’t think gestation creates the kind of psycho-social relationship between parent and child that we usually understand functional parentage recognition to protect.

    • I agree especially on gestation being considered functional parentage because officially that period of time during gestation nobody can claim to be a parent. They are expectant parents or expectant adoptive parents. Parenthood starts at the same time childhood starts. Like motherhood ones offspring begins immediately upon birth and adoptive motherhood starts immediately upon the adoption. Neither of them have to do any actual work of caregiving to be entitled (titled) to their brand of motherhood. No boo boo kissing, soccer practice, diaper changing required in advance of being able to claim the title all you need is a signed adoption decree or your own offspring. Then functional parenthood starts. Kid won’t remember the gestation experience at all. I know plenty of people adopted at birth they don’t remember being born any better than the rest of us. Baby’s brains are not ready for interaction in the womb. When they are ready to interact they’re born. I personally think what causes people to look for the woman that gave birth to them is the fact she is related to them and she connects them to their larger family. Not because they are so connected to her because she was pregnant. But that’s just an opinion, because people totally look for their fathers too and there is no pregnancy there.

      • “Parenthood starts at the same time childhood starts. Like biological motherhood ones offspring begins immediately upon birth and motherhood through adoption starts immediately upon when that woman becomes responsible for parenting that child. ”

        Fixed this statement for you.

        • Um….I suppose I can roll with that statement except for this one thing..

          Parenthood starts at the same time childhood starts. Like motherhood ones offspring begins immediately upon birth and motherhood by adoption starts immediately upon the adoption the approval of the adoption decree. Birth or approval of the adoption decree triggers for both of them, the responsibility of rearing the child in question. I just cannot stand the verb form of the noun parent. The proper term would be to raise or rear a child. Parent is a noun. Don’t turn nouns in to verbs. We don’t become someone we are not by doing what they are supposed to do.

          • Exactly so you understand there is no such thing as “Adoptive Parenthood”. That’s good.

            • Do you understand that there is no such thing as parenting and that people don’t learn “to parent”?

              • Yes, actually there is such a thing as parenting a child. It’s the act of raising a child and everything that goes into it.

                • Parent’s raise their children or rear their children. They don’t parent their children. Someone can be raised by their grandmother it does not make her their parent. Same can go for an aunt or a foster parent or a god mother – they are raising kids and parents raise kids. See Parent is a title, not a job. It’s a noun, not a verb.
                  Sometimes people who are not parents raise kids too and some of them feel like they want the title if they are going to be doing all the work. Some people feel like people should have to earn the title of parent through their hard work and effort and earn themselves a kid by really putting in the extra effort it takes in raising them. That is a property based view of children and parenthood. Like you can earn a child or buy one, whichever. But a child is something you get when your good and don’t get when your bad. Get when you work hard and loose when you are lazy.
                  If parents are suppose to raise kids then raising kids should make you a parent. If you take the noun of parent and use it as a verb then suddenly parents who don’t raise kids are just people who don’t parent and people who raise kids suddenly get to call themselves parent. Its just ridiculous

                  The term came about after there started being open adoptions and parents by adoption wanted to not have an adoptive qualifier and wanted the right to just call themselves plain old parent. The google news archive is a good resource for seeing when words start

                  • It’s ridiculous how much hate you have for non biological parents. I hope that you are at least seeing a therapist to address these issues.

                  • Parenting is a real word.

                    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/parenting

                    Unlike “Adoptive Parenthood” it isn’t made up.

                  • Its interesting you say that. No I’m not. But there have been a few really interesting psychological papers on adoption and magical thinking and delusion I’ve read that solidify my view. The only people that really ever slam me are people who are raising other people’s kids without being totally as respectful as they should be to them

                  • Well it probably would be best if you did see a therapist because these issues are not normal and are very dangerous to our society.

                  • Here is the thing I’ve actually never harmed anyone. In fact I get the sweetest letters from people! I got three letters from the same lady whose like a serious devout Christian and I’m not saying all kinds of holy niceness. People come to hang out and say thanks and hug me and say I helped. So I feel super good about me not doing any harm to anyone. All I’m doing here is talking no harm no foul and when I take action its in an effort to make something really good and happy happen for someone. I won’t help people search if they are angry or spiteful or if they are trying to get money. That would be no fun. Thanks for your concern though. I try real hard not to act in harmful ways.

      • if there can be a marital presumption, why can’t there be a gestational presumption? the marital presumption exists because most people born in a marriage actually are the genetic children of both spouses. if some of them aren’t, we shoo them along with the crowd in order not to disrupt the general rule.
        Well a far greater percentage of people born to a pregnant woman are indeed the genetic offspring of that woman.

        • presumption aside, i would not call pregnancy caregiving but i would call it being a functional parent since giving birth to a child is a function of parenthood.
          that’s if i have to categorize pregnancy at all- its really something unique on to itself i believe.

          • It is still a precurser to parenthood, she’s an expectant mother until the birth of her child. Giving birth is a contraction a bodily function of her own body to expell a forigen object she’s having a baby or taking a poop. Not until the baby is out does she have child to take care of not until the poop is out does she have a mess to flush. Once the little person is out she is that person’s parent for sure. But the labor was something she was doing because her body compelled her to.

            A function of parenthood would be one that you can neglect and walk away from leave untended and ignored. That is why parenthood is so tough.

            You can walk away from your parental duties you cannot walk away from labor when your dialated and your water is broken.

            Right? LDR Nurse? It’s not a function that can be shared equally or handled by anyone else cause its a bodily function. Your own bodily function and it says zero about your ability to care for a needy young life. It really does not. Many women are horrible pregnant because they are so addicted they can’t clean up their act but then get clean and become tremendous devoted mothers – all their drug abuse said during pregnancy is that their bodies are so horribly addicted that and they are so depressed they cannot stop hurting themselves. For many women it takes the existence of the separate person in front of them to care for because their own body was out of their control. You know?

        • Ki
          “gestational presumption? the marital presumption exists because most people born in a marriage actually are the genetic children of both spouses. if some of them aren’t, we shoo them along with the crowd in order not to disrupt the general rule. Well a far greater percentage of people born to a pregnant woman are indeed the genetic offspring of that woman.”

          Do you remember when Dr Sweet wrote that terrible thing about trying to find the solution that is fairest to the greatest number of people? Do you remember how horrible that sounded? In America? AFTER the civil rights movement? Minority Rule, majority vote.

          Human rights, civil rights are supposed to be the same for everyone. The law is supposed to protect everyone equally and hold us all accountable to the same extent out of fairness. Votes are supposed to only be for stuff that is not a right. Like a particular person to hold public office or whether we have a new community pool constructed using property tax money. You don’t vote on stuff like whether black people are allowed to ride on the front of the bus or whether women should be paid the same as men for the same job position.

          Sure most people are the offspring of the people named as parents on their original birth certificates because their bio parents tell the truth and are held accountable for their children as parents. There are tons of reasons for recording a person as the offspring of their bio parents and those reasons are important to both the public as well as the individuals related to the person named on the certificate and of course the person named on the certificate. Those benefits are not available to people whose bio parents are not named on their birth record. The law does not protect them. Don’t we care about that? Wouldn’t it be nice to fix the law so that they too could enjoy the same protections as people whose bio parents told the truth? Why exclude them from protection when there are 20 ways to skin a cat?

          If your that worried about the privacy of people lets take a good look at who information effects before we decide who gets to be the gate keeper of that information. If information effects only you then you should have a reasonable expectation of control over that information. When you have offspring suddenly your wants needs and desires take a back see to what? Right the needs of your offspring because they are dependent upon the person that created them to keep them alive and society expects the person not to let their offspring become the state’s expense. Also when you have offspring that suddenly turns your mother into a grandmother and your sister into an Aunt and your nephew into a cousin. Suddenly a whole lot of people’s identities are impacted by the existence of your kid and they have a right to know that they are an aunt or a grandparent or a cousin. Other people’s kinship relationships and medical information should not be under the control of one family gate keeper. If a person has a cousin they need to avoid having sex with that cousin and it is not the place of the neglectful parent to get to lie and hide that relationship from them. Is it really so unreasonable to make adjustments to the law that make it more difficult for bio parents to lie and hide or makes it more difficult for unrelated people to black market adopt when they should just go to court like any other normal person that wants parental authority over other people’s offspring?

          Majority vote, minority rule. Saying that marital presumption is fair to most people is like a slap in the face to the people who spend a life pretending to be the never born bio kid of their mom’s husband because nobody made their mom swear to tell the truth or offered her and her husband a dna test to confirm their claims. Then at least the certificate could be marked not confirmed if they declined the test.

  7. the only alternative would be massive state violation of privacy, which many times would not even turn out to serve anyone’s best interest

    • all laws are based on generalizations because no 2 situations are exactly alike

      • Oh but the people in their humanness are exactly alike. Do some people need medically accurate identifying information less than others? It would be so easy to equalize everyones obligation to tell the truth and equalize everyone’s right to have the truth recorded. Everyone would benefit and be obligated identically and nobody would be treated unfairly.

        Your proposing that some people have an unfair advantage and be able to lie about information that effects other people not just them.

      • The minority being treated differently here is growing and we have no idea just how many there are directly effected each year in the U.S. The direct impact is likely over 100,000 births a year. The indirect impact is fascinating and enormous and compounds every year.

    • Well if you truly feel it is an invasion of people’s privacy are you saying that people have a right to lie about being the biological parent of a child?

      What is it that you think they have the right to keep private?

      People don’t have the right to hide the fact that they have offspring. If you have offspring you should expect the law will chase you down and test your dna and hold you accountable for them. That is the way its done currently. You have no right to refuse the test. Your relatives have no right to refuse the test if they can’t find you they will test them in order to prove whether or not a particular child is yours. That is the level of protection some people are offered when they are minors. And not necessarily when their mothers are going to receive public assistance either.

      You don’t have the right to lie and say you are a biological parent without expecting that the claim might be challenged with a dna test. Just look the case of U.S. Citizenship and children born abroad they will test your dna.

      If a hired gestational carrier tried to keep the baby she delivered over the mother’s objections it would not be the contract that would turn the table in the mother’s favor it would be a dna test proving that its her offspring and she’d have no choice but to take the test.

      Where is this perceived right to privacy when a person has offspring? There is none. It’s no more invasive than any of the other instances where testing is called for. Also it would protect all people equally at the start and leave all people equally obligated to either be tested or swear under oath that the child is their offspring. Then if it turns out to be false the records can be corrected.

      No law is not based on being good for the majority and whatever on the minority. Its based on being the same for everyone regardless of circumstance and family law is just a mess of inconsistency.

  8. So, if parenting is social/de facto/relationship-based, do those people who steal newborns from maternity wards and hide the fact for years get to be recognized as legal parents? They could go to court and say, “I stole this child as a newborn, but I’ve looked after him for 10 years now and I want to have this relationship legally recognized because after all this time, I am now really his parent?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s