Papa's Baby

By Eckert-Casha, Debra | Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Spring 2013 | Go to article overview

Papa's Baby


Eckert-Casha, Debra, Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences


Papa's Baby compares the legal treatment of children conceived from passion (papa's baby) with that of those born through artificial insemination (papa's maybe). Are there many differences? The author says yes.

Captivating the reader by providing recent examples of famous people who have breached their marital vows, Lewis explains the "marital presumption doctrine" and the "best interests of the child standard." Her analysis incorporates case law.

In America today, one out of every three babies is a "non-marital" child. Lewis discusses paternity of the "fornicating man" who is described as one who fathers a child without being married to the child's mother. Historically, a child born out of wedlock was often treated as being "legally fatherless." Under many statutes, a man who conceives a child out of wedlock is the legal father if the paternity test proves he is the biological father. Thus, the child has a right to receive financial support from that man. Due to DNA testing, courts are able to adjudicate a man as the father of his non-marital child. More than 30 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that regardless of the circumstances that led to a child's birth, financial support is essential. In 1975, the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement was established by Congress. A brief overview of child support enforcement provisions is provided as is a review of inheritance rights for the non-marital child.

Legislatures in a majority of the states and the District of Columbia have enacted statutes pertaining to artificial insemination. What are the require - ments among the jurisdictions? Lewis provides an analysis of the legislative and judicial responses to children born through artificial insemination.

This book discusses the different types of sperm donors. Under a majority of the state statutes, the sperm donor is not acknowledged as the legal father. However, in some states, the sperm donor may agree to be a father of the child. Anyone contemplating artificial insemination needs to understand their state laws and the severity of the consequences for being ignorant of the statute or not complying with its requirements. Lewis delivers the message clearly utilizing case examples.

The legal protections afforded step-children, posthumous, adopted, and artificially-conceived children born to heterosexuals and same-sex couples are analyzed. The reader will exercise brain cells with inquiries such as Should posthumous reproduction be legally permitted? Does a posthumously-conceived child acquire the status of a marital child? What are the inheritance rights of a posthumously-conceived child? …

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