STUDENT ARTICLE: DESPERATELY CLINGING TO THE CLEAVERS: WHAT FAMILY LAW COURTS ARE DOING ABOUT HOMOSEXUAL PARENTS, AND WHAT SOME ARE REFUSING TO SEE Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2005 Law and Psychology Review
Law and Psychology Review

STUDENT ARTICLE: DESPERATELY CLINGING TO THE CLEAVERS: WHAT FAMILY LAW COURTS ARE DOING ABOUT HOMOSEXUAL PARENTS, AND WHAT SOME ARE REFUSING TO SEE

Spring, 2005

29 Law & Psychol. Rev. 223

Author

Heather Farm Latham *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Parents. They're here. Many of them are queer. 2 But American court systems are certainly not yet getting used to it. According to the 2000 Census, over 150,000 same-sex couples in America are raising one or more children in their homes. 3 Somewhere between one and nine million children have gay parents. 4 A culture that once separated itself from the pack by calling the pack "breeders" 5 has begun finding ways to "breed" on its own, and as a result finds itself facing the same parenting issues as its heterosexual counterparts--except without the dual protections of marriage and biology. 6

Although one might imagine family law courts racing to catch up with this changing American family, the reality remains, ironically, fixed on the fiction of a family that exists only as a relative anomaly in this country: a married heterosexual couple living with their biological children. 7 Custody cases involving gay parents, although ever-increasing in number, continue to be treated as special cases outside the norm, and viewed skeptically by courts as if the world outside their walls would cease turning so long as the law lingered behind. More tragically, children, and perhaps potential children, of gay parents are paying the psychological price.

II. FAMILY LAW AS IT WAS AND IS

The law has traditionally recognized only "three essential categories of parent": biological, step, and adoptive. 8 Homosexual couples by biological definition are unable to procreate together, although through modern reproductive technology they are ...
 
 
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