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Parentage and the Modern Family

Volume 40, Issue 4  



Parentage and the Modern Family

Family law is reaching a crossroads. Social and technological transformations over the last sixty years continue to challenge traditional notions of marriage and reproduction. Same-sex individuals can now marry, divorce, and reproduce biologically. People can now plan and agree in advance to make babies who will not be raised by one or both of their genetic parents. Traditional marriage as an institution is in decline. Such fundamental changes have required courts and legislatures to grapple with redefining parentage to keep pace with the ever-evolving family unit.


UPA 2017: The Science of It All

In crafting the Uniform Parentage Act of 2017, the drafting committee faced the challenge of not only understanding the law—it also had to understand very complex scientific issues. These issues ranged from artificial reproduction to mitochondrial replacement therapy to genetic testing to determine parentage. One article, Article 5, Genetic Testing, provides a detailed legal and scientific framework for using genetic testing to solve disputed parentage.


On Talking with Young Children about Their Nontraditional Families

It is no secret that the nature of families in America has changed and continues to change. A diverse tapestry reflecting what it means to be a family has replaced the image of a family as a male parent, a female parent, and their children. The “modern family” includes single parent families, same-sex parent families, multi-ethnic families, three-parent families, and, of course, the “traditional” family.

Publish With Us

Family Advocate is looking for talented writers who want to share their expertise, strategies, and experiences in handling family law cases, clients, and law practices.


Consider Us Family

We as family law attorneys know all too well that not everyone is blessed with a healthy biological family. We see firsthand how the love that a family is supposed to share can turn into hatred and distrust. We see our clients, their children, and their extended families inexorably shaken by a break in the family unit that may never be repaired. Those broken branches must find other places to root and be nurtured. And indeed, for many people, families are created mainly from friends and community, as their genetic families did not provide that safety and security.

From the Editor in Chief

In the legal and scientific communities, the concept of parentage has evolved over the years in ways few could have predicted. The last time the Family Advocate did an issue focused on the subject of parentage was in 2002. The Board of Editors reviewed that issue in planning this one. It was entertaining and eye-opening to be reminded of how far we have moved beyond the concepts that were cutting-edge at that time. In this issue, the Board has put together a fresh look at the concept of parentage as faced by families today.

Section Highlights

The ABA Section of Family Law officers and new Council members for 2018–2019 will be selected by Section vote during the 2018 Annual Business Meeting in Chicago. To be eligible to vote, an individual must be registered for the meeting and be a nonstudent member of the Section whose good standing can be certified by official Association records for thirty days prior to the day of the voting. Again this year, we present short bios and photos so that you can get to know the officer and Council nominees.

Editorial Board

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