The question of ‘who are the real parents?’ can arise in a range of contexts. The law has traditionally regarded genetic ties as the determining factor. Other courts have placed less emphasis on genetic connection and more on intention. Still others would argue that biology, whether genetic or gestational, is not the sole factor in determining who is a parent. Surely someone who takes care of and has responsibility for a child, who loves and is loved by that child, has as much claim to be a parent as someone who is biologically related. More importantly, it seems wrong to deprive children of the people in their lives who have played significant parental roles. But what about the recent news of eighteen year old Alexis Manigo learning that Gloria Williams, the woman who raised her, has been charged with kidnapping her when she was eight hours old? Would a best interest analysis have applied were she still a minor today?
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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.