2 Law & Sexuality: Rev. Lesbian & Gay Legal Issues 237 (1992)
Legal, Psychological, and Medical Considerations in Lesbian Parenting

handle is hein.journals/lsex2 and id is 241 raw text is: Legal, Psychological, and Medical
Considerations in Lesbian Parenting
I. Introduction                                                    237
II.  Research Regarding Lesbian Mothers and Their Children          239
III.  Lesbian Parenting Options                                      241
A.    Obtaining custody from a previous heterosexual rela-
tionship                                                  241
1. The per se approach                                    242
2. The middle ground approach                             246
3. The nexus approach                                     247
B.   Insemination                                              248
C.   Second parent adoption                                    253
D.    Lesbian adoption and joint adoption                      256
E.   Foster parenting                                          258
F.    Legal guardianship                                       259
IV. Feminist Concerns                                                260
V.   Proposed Theories for.Establishing Parenthood in the Fu-
ture                                                           262
VI.   Conclusions                                                    263
Greater numbers of homosexuals are choosing to become parents than
ever before, resulting in what Louise Rafkin has termed the gay-by
boom.' In particular, lesbians, who traditionally have been more likely to
remain with one partner than gay men,2 are choosing to become parents.
An estimated one in three lesbians have become parents by obtaining cus-
tody of children from a previous heterosexual relationship or through in-
semination.3 The total population of lesbian mothers in the United States
1. Louise Rafkin, It's a Gay-By Boom., in DIFFERENT MOTHERS: SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF
LFSBIANS TALK ABOUT THEIR LIVES 9 (Louise Rafkin ed., 1990). In a survey conducted in 1987 of
1,921 lesbians, 58.8% had considered having a child; 61% of those considering parenthood would do so
by donor insemination, if necessary. Susan R. Johnson, et al., Parenting Desires Among Bisexual
Women and Lesbians, 32 J. REPRODUCTIVE MED. 198, 199 (1987).
2. James N. Baker & Shawn D. Lewis, Lesbians: Portrait of a Community, NEWSWEEK, March
12, 1990, at 24.
3. Id. See also, Kirkpatrick, Clinical Implications of Lesbian Mother Studies, 14 J. HoMosExU-
ALiTY 201, 202 (1987) [hereinafter Kirkpatrick, Clinical Implications].

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