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Unpublished Paper
It Takes Three, Baby: The Lack of Standard, Legal Definitions of “Best Interest of the Child” and the Right to Contract for Lesbian Potential Parents
ExpressO (2008)
  • Harvey L. Fiser, Millsaps College
  • Paula K. Garrett

In order to consider the plausibility of contracts regarding AI, this article will first review various options and legal ramifications for choices regarding AI and then focus on the effect of inconsistent application of the Uniform Parentage Act among states that have chosen to adopt any legislation. This legal conundrum creates major obstacles for lesbian couples in procreation and in legal protection for children and often denies lesbian Americans the right to equal enforcement of contracts. This article will then consider how the current standard of “best interest of the child” is being used in the absence of the UPA standards and, in some respects, to prevent model UPA legislation from being used to grant sole custody to a lesbian birth mother and to prevent the termination of parentage rights of sperm donors. Of particular interest in this article is discrimination against lesbians seeking legal assistance in the enforcement of contracts to formalize parenting rights and responsibilities for children resulting from artificial insemination. This article will then suggest alternatives for this affected group in an attempt to clarify the issues and mitigate some of the impact of the lack of legislation, inconsistent and incomplete laws, and, in some cases, outright prejudicial rulings.

  • lesbian,
  • gay,
  • artificial insemination,
  • same-sex,
  • reproduction,
  • adoption,
  • fertility,
  • best interests of the child
Publication Date
July 26, 2008
Citation Information
15 Cardozo J.L. & Gender 1 (2008)