I have received passionate responses to the blogs I’ve written recently concerning non-traditional family issues (a father being ordered to pay child support for twin daughters born (via IVF through sperm not his and egg not his wife’s) to his wife while they were married but in the process of divorcing, and shared custody being ordered between a non-biological mother of a child born to her wife during the course of their marriage and the biological mother, her wife).
The non-traditional parenting issues now more regularly coming before the Court are a result of very old laws running up against very new family structures. In a sense, the Court is playing “catch up” with society and in doing so it is being asked to make rulings in the most intimate of scenarios. In many ways to me these days hark back to the days of desegregation when by necessity, the Courts led the way through integration. It was only through the Courts’ orders that legislatures realized (often reluctantly) that they needed to act in ways to ensure equality under the law. Courts are once again being forced to reconcile and interpret the laws they are sworn to uphold with the social and technological changes we are making as a society.
The Courts’ interpretations of laws will always be controversial. The nature of our Court process is such that at least two alternative opinions are always put forward. Without disagreement there would be no need for an impartial party to make a judgment. It is as it always has been.