October 11, 2019 Feature

The Doctrine of Intentional Parenthood

By Geri C. Sjoquist


Family laws have become a patchwork of statutes that have been made even more complex with the acceptance of same-sex marriage. In Minnesota, the issue of equal rights for members of the LGBTQ community came into focus with the issue of the right of LGBTQ people to marry. On August 1, 2013, Minnesota became the twelfth state to join in the recognition of same-sex unions. The headlines everywhere read, “Love Won.”1 Although, the legislature may have been aiming for equality, the provision that was carved out for same-sex couples to enjoy the benefits of a valid legal marriage was accomplished within the context of all of Minnesota’s other laws governing families and children, which are primarily based on biology. In a 1994 case before the Minnesota Court of Appeals,2 the court noted the possible staleness of biologically based portions of the Parentage Act and encouraged the legislature to amend the Act.3 Unfortunately, to date, it has failed to do so, leaving practitioners to solve the riddles. The various issues related to the rights of LGBTQ parents that are addressed in this Article are cropping up with greater frequency.

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