Sessions Information

  • January 8, 2011
    8:30 am - 10:15 am
    Session Type: Section Call for Papers
    Session Capacity: N/A
    Hotel: Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco Union Square
    Room: Cyril Magnin II
    Floor: Fourth Floor Level

    One or more presenters were selected from a call for papers.


    Scientific advances—in genetics, the reproductive sciences, genetics, neuroscience and cognitive psychology, sex reassignment, and so on—are rapidly changing fundamental aspects of family formation and family life.  The law and norms that regulate families likewise change, only less rapidly.  But science constantly tests, and exposes, the limits of existing law.  For example: As surrogacy and other assisted reproductive techniques enable would-be parents to overcome biological limitations of all sorts, they also discomfit social and legal understandings of parenthood and potentially pose medical problems for offspring.  As developmental scientists provide greater insight into adolescents’ decision-making deficiencies and abilities, the proper scopes of adolescents’ rights to self-determination and parents’ rights to control their children’s upbringing both become more difficult to delineate.  And as the American Psychiatric Association grapples with whether to continue characterizing gender identity disorder as a disorder at all, its deliberations underscore the complexities of sex and gender, currently unaccounted for by the gender binary around which law overwhelmingly structures the traditional family.  These examples provide only a glimpse of the myriad questions that arise when science meets family.


    This panel will examine the profound influence of science on families, the law’s response, and whether/when/how the law ought to respond.  Speakers will analyze specific scientific developments and their legal implications, as well as overarching themes and ethical questions.  They will explore the interplay and possible interrelationships between science, family, and law.  And they will consider whether science will ultimately force a fundamental rethinking of what constitutes “family”.


    Business Meeting at Program Conclusion.

Session Speakers
The University of Chicago, The Law School

University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law
Speaker from a Call for Papers

William & Mary Law School

University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law
Speaker from a Call for Papers

National Center for Lesbian Rights

University of California College of the Law, San Francisco

Session Fees
  • 7130 Family and Juvenile Law, Co-Sponsored by Law, Medicine and Health Care: $0.00