Document Type



This article is being written by Suffolk University Law School Distinguished Professor Charles P. Kindregan, Jr., who is the chair of the American Bar Association Family Law Section Committee on Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. The article focuses on the revolutionary changes in legal thinking about parenthood which have been produced by two significant developments. One development is the increasing acceptance of parenting opportunities for persons living in non-traditional family arrangements, including non-marital unions, same-sex unions, single parent families and other relationships which do not track the traditional nuclear-family model. The other development is the ability to produce children asexually by use of various assisted reproductive technologies. When combined these two developments have created new forms of parenting, including gamete-donor and donee parents, embryo transfer parents, gestational surrogate mothers, intended non-genetic parents, posthumous parents etc. While the traditional biological methods of determining legal parenthood, augmented by genetic-marker testing, continue to have application in cases of sexual reproduction, asexual reproduction has created the need for new tests and categories which will continue to continue to be redefined as reproductive science continues to present new challenges to the legislatures and courts.

Date of Authorship for this Version

August 2006


Family Law, Reproductive Technology, Same-Sex Union