This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
Crack's Six Insane Laws We'll Need includes redefining parenthood.
Yep, science is well on the way to reinventing the concept of family altogether. For instance we already know how to make sperm from stem cells. No need for a father at all.
Before you feminists get all cocky, women are no longer really necessary either, as artificial ova and artificial wombs are now a reality.
But wait--they'll still need DNA, right?
Wrong. We have been working on making DNA in the lab since the 70s. The only reason we're not on the cusp of a factory that can turn out parentless kids is that nobody has figured out how to make money off such an operation.
And We'll Need New Laws Because...
Still, it seems like it's just a matter of time until someone does it. So who would the kid belong to? Do they become a ward of the state?
Some of you may remember that immediately after the death of Michael Jackson there was some speculation about who exactly had guardianship of the kids, based on the fact that (rumor had it) they were carried by a mother Michael had never slept with, and was fertilized with sperm from some other dude. Meaning Michael had no more of a biological relationship to "his" children than you do. If one of the other two involved parties had asked for parental rights, on what grounds would he have objected?
Likewise, if a wealthy man or a corporation manufactures a child and claims their rights as its parent, who's to say they can't? Don't be surprised if, based on the legal confusion created by a test tube orphan, we eventually get Organic Replacement Laws--if you want to make a kid, a penis and a vagina have to be involved. No sex, no kid.
Hey, speaking of sex, we'll also see courts of the future...