Document Type


Publication Title

Connecticut Law Review

Publication Date

Winter 2000


This article considers three broad contexts within which family law is being asked to consider the consequences for families of "new facts about biogenetic relationship." 0 The law's responses to these new facts suggest that Schneider's conclusions about the biogenetic dimension of kinship must be amended in characterizations of contemporary families. In particular, the monolithic ideology" of families that Schneider assumed at mid-century 12 has been appropriated by various interests, which have misrepresented fragments of it in its entirety. As a result, society and the law invoke certain aspects of the ideology of traditional families in some contexts, but not in others. Other aspects are forgotten almost completely in deference to the contemporary obsession in the United States with the preservation of liberty and choice. Specifically, families can be created through love or money; they can be grounded in biology or intention; they can include children created through donated gametes, children with several biological mothers, children who survived the choices attendant upon genetic testing at the embryonic stage, or no children at all. Yet, it is widely hoped, if not expected, that once formed, these families will resemble one another in placing love and loyalty before all else. Thus, those presuming to favor tradition join those presuming to favor modernity in invoking a similar goal--the actualization of affective, committed, familial relationships.