United States: “the parental partnership”?

Publié le : 28 February 2013

 In the United States, on the Internet, single people "seek not love but rather a partner with whom to build a family and not necessarily under the same roof." The journalist gives the example of a couple in which the woman explains that the man "moved in with her to sleep in a separate bedroom." She continues by revealing: "he handed me a sample of sperm. We hugged and I went into my own bedroom to inseminate myself." No "legal agreement" was signed between the couple, as they "found that to be unreasonable." But the woman still wonders about the future of their relations: "there are so many things that I had not thought about. For example: how am I supposed to be financially responsible? What will happen if I lose my job? What will happen if he loses his job? This is not a marriage.

In the United States, legislation on "parental partnerships" exists, but it differs from State to State. Two recent cases led to court rulings: "In 2008, a Court in New Mexico ruled against a sperm donor who had committed himself to paying a maintenance allowance but had later refused when asked to increase the amount." In 2012, "a court in California found in favour of a Texan sperm donor from whom a maintenance allowance was demanded." The journalist points out that, in this area, "even a legal document is not automatically enforceable in law." Bill Singer, a lawyer from Belle Mead in New Jersey, explains that "the judges act according to the best interest of the child."

While some partners live under the same roof, other live separately. Elisabeth Marquardt, director of the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values, "an organisation of apostolic defence established in New York," has expressed strong opposition to such a practise: "it is a terrible idea to send a child deliberately into two different worlds, with parents who do not even try to create a bond of affection between them […]. The children of divorced parents will tell you: it is very difficult to grow up in two worlds, with each of your parents living their love life separately."

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