Rescuing Children from the Marriage Movement: The Case against Marital Restrictions on Adoption and Assisted Reproduction


Much of the current cultural debate about marriage in the United States focuses on the need for children to be raised by heterosexual married couples. In the current atmosphere, it is important to examine how marriage functions in contexts where parent-child relationships are determined by more than just genetics and marital presumptions. This Article argues that the favoritism toward marriage in adoption and assisted reproduction relates neither to the purposes of marriage nor to child welfare. Part I subjects marital restrictions on assisted reproduction to an interpretivist microscope, and Part II undertakes a comprehensive comparison of step-parent adoption and second-parent adoption. Both Parts raise concerns that are further addressed in Part III’s look at how the contemporary marriage movement, in advocating for favored treatment of married couples at all levels of society, ultimately undermines the welfare of children whose best hope lies with parents for whom marriage is not an option.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Family Law | Legislation

Date of this Version

September 2004