Document Type


Publication Title

Arizona State Law Journal

Publication Date

Summer 1996


Section I of this Article discusses a historical process, dating from the late medieval period, which necessitated the creation of the American myths of family and children. Section II explains why the myths were created when they were, and describes them. Section III shows how, for the past century and a half, American culture, as reflected in American law, has invoked the myths in support of contradictory social impulses. This contradiction is illustrated by examining the creation and application of the family law principle that asks courts that resolve disputes involving children to effect the best interests of those children. Sections IV and V show how society and law, over the past two decades, have invoked, transformed, and sometimes even ignored, familiar myths about family and children in confronting a sudden and startling revolution in human reproduction.