De Facto Parent and Nonparent Child Support Orders
Parness, Jeffrey A.
Timko, Matthew L.
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For ever so long U.S. state laws have recognized the federal constitutional right to “care, custody and control” of a child vested in the opposite sex married couple who bore the child of sex or in any formal adoptive parent. More recently this parental right has also been recognized for the opposite sex unmarried couple who bore the child of sex. And even more recently, U.S. state laws have recognized this parental right for some who did not engage in the sex leading to birth and for some where the children were born without sex. State laws have also increasingly limited this childcare right by allowing nonparents to secure court-ordered childcare over the objections of established legal parents, whether by newly recognizing these nonparents as de facto parents or as third parties with childcare standing. While state childcare laws have evolved significantly as family structures, the availability of reliable and inexpensive genetic testing, and assisted reproduction techniques have changed, the laws on parental and nonparental child support have not changed much. This article is the first to explore actual and potential child support arising from the new childcare opportunities for both de facto parents and nonparents.
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