Paternity Law Review Articles

In view of the chaotic state of paternity law across the country, I think the following law review article digests, compiled by Nancy Ver Steegh in her Annual Survey of Periodical Literature published in the Family Law Quarterly, Vol 40, No 4, Winter 2007 is helpful:

Nancy E. Dowd, Fathers and the Supreme Court: Founding Fathers and Nurturing Fathers, 54 EMORY L.J. 1271 (2005). The author examines bias against fathers in parenting matters, critiquing the Supreme Court’s stereotypic view of fatherhood as a status and suggesting that the Court use a relational, nurturing standard for determining a father’s parental rights.

Parentage at Birth: Birthfathers and Social Fatherhood, 14 WM. & MARY BILL RTS. J. 909 (2006). This author recommends revision of the Uniform Parentage Act to include recognition of both birth fathers and social fathers.

Ronald K. Henry, The Innocent Third Party: Victims of Paternity Fraud, 40 FAM. L.Q. 51 (2006). This article examines the issue of paternity fraud with particular attention to the plight of low-income minority men. The author urges use of routine DNA testing.

David D. Meyer, The Constitutionality of Best Interests Parentage, 14 WM. & MARY BILL RTS. J. 857 (2006). This article considers traditional parentage law and the constitutionality of the emerging best interest parentage law. The author concludes that the constitutional limits on state power to define family are justified.

Jane C. Murphy, Legal Images of Fatherhood: Welfare Reform, Child Support Enforcement, and Fatherless Children, 81 NOTRE DAME L. REV, 325 (2005). This article provides a historical perspective on the definition of fatherhood and also discusses fatherhood in the context of biology and economic support. The author evaluates the impact of child support enforcement and welfare reform on fatherhood and offers proposals for reform.

Jana Singer, Marriage, Biology, and Paternity: The Case for Revitalizing the Marital Presumption, 65 MD. L. REV. 246 (2006). The author analyzes use of the marital presumption in paternity cases and concludes that it would be in the best interest of children to revitalize it.

E. Gary Spitko, The Constitutional Function of Biological Paternity: Evidence of the Biological Mother’s Consent to the Biological Father’s Co-Parenting of Her Child, 48 ARIZ. L. REV. 97 (2006). The author recommends that courts determine parental rights based on the amount of parental labor expended.