Principled Parentage: Abandoning the Gender-Based Underpinnings of Legal Parentage Analysis as Applied in the Context of Gestational Surrogacy


While reproductive technology has provided new options for women who want children, our legal understanding of parentage is still informed by the traditional conception model of two parents: one male and one female. A parent who both is a biological parent and has developed a parent-child relationship with a genetic child ought to be considered a legal parent as well. This conclusion ought not to be vulnerable to attack based on the gender of the other parent; rather, each parent’s claims should be evaluated independently. When gender becomes irrelevant and we abandon the gender-based underpinnings of legal parentage analysis as applied in gestational surrogacy cases, correct parentage decisions can be more easily reached when considering families created by non-traditional means.


Family Law | Juvenile Law | Law and Gender | Sexuality and the Law

Date of this Version

February 2006