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Wider Parenthood Issues Notes

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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?

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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

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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:

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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

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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

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3. An adopted father will be the father in the eyes of the law, even if he is not the genetic father

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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

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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

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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

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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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Baroness Hale

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