Redefining the Legal Family: Protecting the Rights of Coparents and the Best Interests of Their Children
What makes a family? Perhaps biological relation determines family. But, are two parents and their adopted child a family? Surely, the answer to this inquiry shows that family is not necessarily based on biology. Perhaps, then, an interactive, loving, caretaking relationship between parents and children makes a family. However, if a person were separated at birth from his or her biological parents only to be reunited with them later in life, would anyone deny that those individuals were family? Certainly, no one would. This, of course, is a trick question. There is no easy answer. Indeed, the concept of “family” is something we all simply accept during the course of our daily lives. A family is a family because they act like a family. Mothers, fathers, and children make families. But what happens when the parents separate and begin individual lives? Does the adults’ decision to end their relationship terminate their roles as parents? Do the separate lives that the parents begin cause the children to no longer be their children? The answer seems clear: of course not.