Gay and lesbian collaborative co-parenting in New Zealand and the United Kingdom: 'The law doesn’t protect the third parent'

Surtees, Nicola and Bremner, Philip (2020) Gay and lesbian collaborative co-parenting in New Zealand and the United Kingdom: 'The law doesn’t protect the third parent'. Social and Legal Studies, 29 (4). pp. 507-526. ISSN 1461-7390

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Abstract

In many jurisdictions, legislation reflects, retains and reiterates heteronormative two-parent models of family. Lesbian and gay individuals and an increasing number of heterosexual individuals who choose to parent outside the paradigm of the conjugal couple relationship find neither their interests, nor the welfare of their children, are sufficiently protected in law. This article is based on the findings of two empirical research projects investigating the procreative autonomy of lesbians and gay men in New Zealand and the UK. It focuses on collaborative co-parenting families formed by lesbian couples and gay men, with reference to the allocation of legal parenthood in these kinds of families and case law across both jurisdictions. Two such families are introduced. Attention is drawn to the ways the law hampers these families’ preferred parenting arrangements. The article highlights the need for legislative change. It concludes that a more flexible, inclusive concept of legal parenthood that honours the intentions of those involved in these arrangements in a way that is consistent with the interests of the child would potentially benefit all people interested in non-traditional parenting.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Same-Sex Parenting, Family Law, Collaborative Co-Parenting, United Kingdom, New Zealand
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women
K Law
Depositing User: Phillip Bremner
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2019 11:00
Last Modified: 12 May 2020 15:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/85956

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