Saturday, November 29, 2008

Who or what is a mother?

Aristotle stated ,"Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own." The use of assisted reproduction to create children has removed the certainty mentioned by the great philosopher.

Recently, the parents of a dead soldier received a court order to permit them to have sperm extracted from his corpse. After obtaining the sperm, the parents selected a woman to give birth to their dead son's child. The grandparents plan to raise the child as their own and the woman has agreed to have her parental rights terminated. What happens if the woman changes her mind and decides to retain possession of the child? In a custody battle between a biological parent and grandparents, the biological parent usually wins. What happens if the grandparents die while the child is still a minor? Should the woman be permitted or forced to step in and raise the child? The answer depends or whether or not the biological mother is recognized as the legal mother of the child. Courts are currently grappling with that question. Several tests have been used to reach an answer and there is not a true consensus.

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