Trusting Mothers: A Critique of the American Law Institute's Treatment of De Facto Parents

Lecture Date


Streaming Media

Media is loading


As a Siben Distinguished Lecturer, Professor Wilson was asked to write an article for the Hofstra Law Review. Her article, cited below, may be downloaded from the link at the top of the page.

Robin F. Wilson, Trusting Mothers: A Critique of the American Law Institute's Treatment of De Facto Parents, 38 Hofstra L. Rev. 1103 (2010).

Speaker Information

Robin Fretwell Wilson is currently the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law and Director of the Program in Family Law and Policy at the University of Illinois College of Law

She is the author of numerous books, including Reconceiving the Family: Critical Reflections on the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution (Cambridge University Press, 2006, ed.); The Handbook of Children, Culture & Violence (Sage Publications, 2006, with Nancy Dowd and Dorothy Singer, eds.); Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008, with Douglas Laycock and Anthony Picarello, eds.); Health Law and Bioethics: Cases in Context (Aspen, 2008, with Joan Krause, Sandra Johnson, and Richard Saver, eds.); Domestic Relations: Cases and Materials, 7th edition (Foundation Press, 2013, with Walter Wadlington and Raymond C. O’Brien); and Understanding Family Law, 4th edition (LexisNexis, 2013, with John DeWitt Gregory and Peter N. Swisher). Her articles have appeared in the Boston College Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Emory Law Journal, North Carolina Law Review, San Diego Law Review, U.C. Davis Law Review, and Washington and Lee Law Review, as well as in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

A member of the American Law Institute, Professor Wilson was elected in 2014 to the Executive Council of the International Society of Family Law. She is the past chair of the Section on Family and Juvenile Law of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and of the AALS' Section on Law, Medicine & Healthcare.

Professor Wilson has worked extensively on behalf of state law reform efforts, recently helping Utah state lawmakers to pass anti-discrimination legislation that balances religious liberty and LGBT rights. In 2007, she received the Citizen’s Legislative Award for her work on changing Virginia’s informed consent law.

Prior to Illinois, she was the Class of 1958 Law Alumni Professor of Law at Washington & Lee School of Law, where she was named Professor of the Year by the Women Law Students Organization. A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Professor Wilson clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and practiced at Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP and Mayor, Day, Caldwell & Keeton, LLP.

Siben Lecture 2010 trifold.pdf (1444 kB)
promotional material

Siben Lecture 2010-EVITE.jpg (323 kB)
promotional material

Siben Lecture 2010-FLYER.pdf (1287 kB)
promotional material