Appel on “The Endurance of Biological Connection: Heteronormativity, Same-Sex Parenting and the Lessons of Adoption”

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Annette Ruth Appel (UNLV) has posted to ssrn her article, “The Endurance of Biological Connection: Heteronormativity, Same-Sex Parenting and the Lessons of Adoption.” Here is the abstract.

This paper traces the intersecting and diverging paths of legal norms regarding adoption and the legal recognition of same sex parents. It compares adoption law’s movement from replicating the modern family by ignoring biology to its current embrace of biology to a similar movement among lesbian and gay families. Many of these families are replicating modern family forms, but are also heeding lessons about the endurance of biology; these post modern lesbian and gay families are acknowledging and even embracing their children’s biological families. The paper first reveals the tenacity of biological connection and its deep and wide significance in United States culture, history, and law. The next section explores lesbian and gay families with children, noting ways these families reflect heteronormativity through two, rather than plural, parent families and yet still value and honor biological connections by including reproductive partners, such as sperm donors and surrogates, into their family systems. The article concludes with lessons open-adoption law and practice might offer lesbian and gay families with children, particularly regarding the possible benefits of developing legal schemes regarding these family systems.”

The full article is available here.

-Bridget Crawford

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