Legal Rights of Nonbiological Parents

The term nonbiological parent can be a confusing one. It is not a term with a fixed legal meaning but rather a generally descriptive term that is commonly used in specific circumstances. This entry first considers the usage of the term and then discusses its potential legal importance.

Taken literally, nonbiological parents could describe a wide range of parents. Adoptive parents, for instance, are nonbiological parents in that they do not have a biological relationship with the children they raise. Similarly, stepparents may fall within the category of nonbiological parents. In practice, however, the term nonbiological parent is usually used much more narrowly. It is most commonly used in the context of lesbian couples who create families using donor sperm and assisted insemination. The woman ...

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