A more recent version of these Wider Parenthood Issues notes – written by Oxford students – is available here.
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Wider Parenthood Issues What is the basis for granting parenthood?
Genetic Parentage o It could be claimed that the core notion of parenthood is genetic parenthood.
? However, it is clear that there is not an exact correlation between genetic parentage and legal parenthood
The circumstances may mean that someone else does the job of the biological parent o The exceptions
? But, there are only four times where the legal father will not be the genetic father:
1. A husband is presumed to be the father of his wife's child - o if the biological father does not object, the presumption is that H will be treated as the father
2. In cases of AID treatment where the husband is the father under s.28(2) or the partner is the father under s.28(3) of HEFA 1990, o the child's legal father will not be the genetic father
3. An adopted father will be the father in the eyes of the law, even if he is not the genetic father
4. Where the father has the benefit of a parental order, he will be the legal father but may not be the genetic father
? However, all the above circumstances are quite rare
The vast majority of genetic parents are parents in law, although not all genetic fathers are awarded parental responsibility o However, it is odd that if genetics are the heart of legal parenthood, we do not require routine genetic paternity testing at birth o Instead we are happy to use presumptions of law - despite some claims that 30% of "fathers" are unaware they are not the genetic father of their wife's children. o Why should genetics be considered the best?
? Genetic Identity
Our genetic parents play a crucial role in our self identity
- as shown by how it is often that adopted children later in life seek to trace their genetic parents o To recognise genetic parenthood acknowledges the importance of the child of the genetic link,
? and recognises the importance many parents place on genetic links to their children.
? Genetic Contribution
Genetic link is important b/c the child has been born out of the genetic contribution of the parents o As the child's being results from the contribution of the two genetic parents, this contribution must be recognised.
? Re G (Children)(Residence: Same Sex Partner)
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