Papa's Baby

Paternity and Artificial Insemination

256 pages

July, 2012

ISBN: 9780814738481



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Browne C. Lewis is Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Health Law & Policy at Cleveland Marshall College of Law. Her books include Inheritance Rights of Children: Cases and Materials and The Law of Trusts.

All books by Browne C. Lewis

When a child is conceived from sexual intercourse between a married, heterosexual couple, the child has a legal father and mother. Whatever may happen thereafter, the child’s parents are legally bound to provide for their child, and if they don’t, they’re held accountable by law. But what about children created by artificial insemination? When it comes to paternity, the law is full of gray areas, resulting in many cases where children have no legal fathers.
In Papa’s Baby, Browne C. Lewis argues that the courts should take steps to insure that all children have at least two legal parents. Additionally, state legislatures should recognize that more than one class of fathers may exist and allocate paternal responsibility based, again, upon the best interest of the child. Lewis supplements her argument with concrete methods for dealing with different types of cases, including anonymous and non-anonymous sperm donors, married and unmarried women, and lesbian couples. In so doing, she first establishes different types of paternity, and then draws on these to create an expanded definition of paternity.


  • "Everything you ever wanted to know about the legal status of fathers and children. Whether she’s discussing old-fashioned fornication or new-fashioned test-tube babies, Lewis never loses sight of the human beings behind the legal cases."

    —Dena Davis, author of Genetic Dilemmas: Reproductive Technology, Parental Choices, and Children's Futures

  • "Browne Lewis provides a fresh new look at the question of paternity. She compares the law of paternity in cases involving children conceived as a result of passion, or ordinary sexual intercourse, to the law of paternity in cases involving children conceived using the science of artificial insemination or IVF. Lewis' book is a must read for anyone interested in sperm donation, new reproductive technologies, and the law regarding paternity."

    —Cynthia Lee, George Washington University Law School, and author of Murder and the Reasonable Man

  • "Papa's Baby is well worth reading."

    Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences