Intentional Parenthood’s Promise: Redefining Legal Parentage for the 21st Century

bbag-icon-decIntentional Parenthood’s Promise: Redefining Legal Parentage for the 21st Century

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Who is a legal parent? The answer used to be fairly straightforward. For instance, a woman who gave birth to a child was presumed the legal and genetic mother of the child. The increased use of assisted reproductive technology (“ART”) means that a birth mother may not necessarily be the child’s legal or genetic mother. Rather, a gestational surrogate may have been implanted with an embryo created by the sperm and oocyte of donors for a couple who wishes to parent the child. Courts have slowly begun to embrace intentional parenthood doctrine; that is, the person who intends to parent the child and engaged in actions that resulted in the child’s birth (such as hiring a surrogate) is the child’s legal parent. Most states have laws that provide that a sperm or oocyte donor is not a child’s legal parent, but application of those laws varies due to jurisdictional differences, complicated facts, or variance with other laws. Although intentional parentage has been used in some jurisdictions to determine legal parentage, its embrace is far from uniform. Should all jurisdictions employ intentional parenthood doctrine? If so, what impact will (should) intentional parenthood doctrine have for families that do not use ART?

feb-18-bbagJoin us for Melanie B. Jacobs’ lecture on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 from noon till 1 pm in person or online.

Professor Melanie B. Jacobs joined the Michigan State University College of Law faculty in 2002 and as of July 2013, she also serves as the Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs at MSU College of Law. Professor Jacobs has written articles and given numerous national and international presentations regarding the need to establish legal recognition for non-nuclear families. She is the 2014 Chair-Elect of the Association of American Law Schools’ Family & Juvenile Law Section. Most recently, she has given lectures in China and Dubai, UAE regarding the 21st Century American Family. Professor Jacobs’ current research and scholarship explores the link between procreative autonomy and intentional parenthood. Professor Jacobs received her A.B. from Columbia College in New York City, her J.D. from Boston University, and her LL.M. in Legal Education from Temple University. She is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.

In person: This lecture will take place in C102 East Fee Hall on MSU’s East Lansing campus. Feel free to bring your lunch! Beverages and light snacks will be provided.

Online: Here are some instructions for your first time joining the webinar, or if you have attended or viewed them before, go to the meeting!

Can’t make it? All webinars are recorded! View our archive of recorded lectures (over 30 lectures and counting!).

About Michigan State Bioethics

Devoted to understanding and teaching the ethical, social and humanistic dimensions of illness and health care since 1977.
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