The (im)possible parents in law

Jones, Caroline (2011) The (im)possible parents in law. In, Lind, Craig, Keating, Heather and Bridgeman, Jo (eds.) Taking Responsibility: Law and the Changing Family. Aldershot, GB, Ashgate, 201-220. (Family Law).


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Contributing authors were asked to consider three interrelated questions regarding family and responsibility in light of changing family arrangements: ‘When do these relationships become ‘familial’? When is family responsibility acquired? When does that responsibility become legal responsibility?’ In this chapter I address these questions by focusing on the ascription of legal parent status in light of recent changes brought about under the auspices of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA 2008).

The first two questions will be addressed briefly at the outset. The main focus of the chapter lies with the deliberation of the final question; by examining the provisions of the HFEA 2008 I outline the now possible – and crucially, the remaining impossible – legal parents in current Anglo-Welsh law (with the attendant allocated legal responsibilities or denial thereof).

This analysis traces the (in)consistency and limitations of legal imagination regarding potential parents and responsibility, illustrating that the once unimaginable has (in many instances, but not all) now become possible, and questions what this might mean in the future.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9781409402022 (hardback)
Related URLs:
Keywords: legal parent, responsibility, parental responsibility, parenthood, human fertilisation and embryology act 2008, legal imagination, HFEA 2008, assisted reproductive technologies, ARTs, mother, father, genetic, surrogacy, adoption, birth certificate, birth, intention, civil partnership, same-sex, inequality, marriage, co-mother, egg donor, kinship, single person
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
K Law > KD England and Wales
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Law
ePrint ID: 160533
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
10 January 2011Published
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2010 14:47
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:28

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