This concluding chapter reviews how the book has examined the different ways that courts have grappled with the question of whether LGBT parents can be good parents and the legal battle waged by LGBT parents to gain legal recognition of and protection for their relationships with their children. By profiling various types of child custody and visitation rights cases involving individuals who decided—either before or after they became parents—to live openly as lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, or transsexuals, the book has highlighted the limitations that inhere in using criteria such as biology, marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity as indicators of competent parenthood. The chapter concludes by arguing that judges and other decision makers who hold the future of children in their hands must discard rigid and outmoded conceptions of what every family (and every parent) should look like, and instead focus on the actual relationships between adults and the children whom they care for.
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