Traditionally, American state laws have recognized that the federal constitutional right to the “care, custody, and control” of a child vests in either the heterosexual birth parents or the adoptive parents of the child. Recently, state laws have also recognized this parental right of “care, custody, and control” to opposite sex unmarried couples who bore the child of sex. Even more recently, state laws have recognized this parental right for those who did not engage in sexual intercourse leading to a pregnancy and birth. State laws have also increasingly limited this childcare right of traditionally recognized parents by allowing nonparents to secure court-ordered childcare over the objections of current parents, whether by recognizing these nonparents as de facto parents or as third parties with childcare standing. While state childcare law opportunities have evolved significantly as family structures, genetic testing, and assisted reproduction techniques have changed, the laws on parental and nonparental child support have not changed much. This Article explores actual and potential child support laws arising from the new childcare laws for both parents and nonparents. (author abstract)
De facto parent and nonparent child support orders
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