In 1975, California courts stripped a lesbian mother of her custody rights because she was living openly with another woman. Twenty years later, the Virginia Supreme Court did the same thing to another lesbian mother. In ordering that children be separated from their mothers, these courts ruled that it was not possible for a woman to be both a good parent and a lesbian.
The Right to be Parents is the first book to provide a detailed history of how LGBT parents have turned to the courts to protect and defend their relationships with their children. Carlos A. Ball chronicles the stories of LGBT parents who, in seeking to gain legal recognition of and protection for their relationships with their children, have fundamentally changed how American law defines and regulates parenthood. Each chapter contains riveting human stories of determination and perseverance as LGBT parents challenge the widely-held view that having a same-sexual orientation, or that being a transsexual, renders individuals incapable of being good parents.
To this day, some courts are still not able to look beyond sexual orientation and gender identity in order to fairly apply legal principles in cases involving LGBT parents and their children. Yet on the whole, Ball's stories are of progress and transformation: as a result of these pioneering LGBT parent litigants, the law is increasingly recognizing the wide diversity in American familial structures. The Right to be Parents explores why and how that has come to be.
"Ball provides a solid reference for both those arguing in favor of LGBTQ parental rights and those seeking to understand the legal arguments advanced by those advocating for them." Library Journal, May 2012 "Ball trains his keen, compassionate and judicious legal mind on heart-tugging, often precedent-setting cases that sought to divest parental custody, visitation and adoption decisions of centuries of gender and sexual bias in US family jurisprudence. This beautiful, wise book documents and helps to guide this momentous legal transformation in contemporary definitions of parenthood. An invaluable, engaging and eloquent contribution to family studies, legal thought, and public knowledge." Judith Stacey, author of Unhitched: Love, Marriage and Family Values from West Hollywood to Western China "If the adage is true that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, then Carlos Bal's book will be a tremendous antidote to a hard and painful history. Uninformed and bigoted assumptions about sexual orientation had devastating consequences for many families. No one who reads this important work will fail to appreciate that the gains we have made in greater protection and security for our families came at a very high price for those parents and children who paved the way." Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
|What Makes a Good Parent?|
|Mothers on Trial||p. 21|
|Fathers Come out of the Closet||p. 59|
|Who Is a Parent?|
|Breaking up Is Hard to Do||p. 83|
|Donate Here, Parent There||p. 115|
|When the State Discriminates||p. 143|
|Can Transsexuals Be Parents?|
|Gender Does Not Make a Parent||p. 183|
|About the Author||p. 239|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 14th May 2012
Dimensions (cm): 23.9 x 16.3 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.513