At the Heart of This Ugly Legal Scrap, a New-Born Treated as a Must-Have Accessory; COMMENTARY

By Grant, Katie | Daily Mail (London), March 8, 2002 | Go to article overview

At the Heart of This Ugly Legal Scrap, a New-Born Treated as a Must-Have Accessory; COMMENTARY


Grant, Katie, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: KATIE GRANT

WITH its As, Xs, Ys and Zs, sperm donors , gay brothers and marriages of convenience, even highly qualified Sheriff Laura Duncan had her work cut out yesterday at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

But at the heart of this sordid and disturbing story of haggling over visiting rights and exactly what constitutes a family unit, is a small, innocent baby. We should never forget that Baby A is a human being, not a piece of 'legal literature'.

Baby A, too young at 18 months to tell us what he thinks, finds himself pitched into a world of legal contortions in which two women professing to have his best interests at heart both want to be called 'Mummy', in which his father is a gay sperm donor and in which his unorthodox parentage has been put on public display in a court of law. Starts in life do not come much worse than this.

Baby A's only comfort is that although the circumstances of his birth and upbringing to date are particularly messy, he is not alone. Gay men and women, who once would have accepted childlessness as just part and parcel of their sexuality, now expect - even demand - to have children. In order to make their own personal dream come true, they either adopt (very difficult) or get other people to help. The result is that an increasing number of children born into the world without those fundamental building blocks of identity: A mother, a father and siblings born to the same parents as they were themselves. Instead they have a mishmash of 'parents'.

Complicated families are, of course, not new. From earliest times, daughters have been passed off as sisters, fathers as uncles and children as being the offspring of men with whom, if DNA tested, they would have no blood connection whatsoever. But these children were usually the result of mistakes and their parents sought above all not to make the children objects of curiosity. All that has now vanished. When a gay couple from Essex can put both their names in the box marked 'father' on the birth certificates of twin babies they ordered from different women using eggs from other women; when women can order semen over the Internet specifying what type of 'father' they wish their child to have; when lesbians, as in this latest case, can pick up a sperm donor in a nightclub, we have moved into a different world, a world in which the ruling by Sheriff Duncan that a lesbian couple cannot constitute a family unit in Scots law looks increasingly shaky. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

At the Heart of This Ugly Legal Scrap, a New-Born Treated as a Must-Have Accessory; COMMENTARY
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.