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Legalizing LGBT FamiliesHow the Law Shapes Parenthood$
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Amanda K. Baumle and D'Lane R. Compton

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479857647

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479857647.001.0001

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Parenting with the Law

Parenting with the Law

(p.133) 5 Parenting with the Law
Legalizing LGBT Families

Amanda K. Baumle

D’Lane R. Compton

NYU Press

In this chapter, the authors focus on the manner in which their participants’ interactions with the law reflected a legal consciousness in which the law was understood as contingent and malleable. They found that, across all legal contexts, participants often viewed the law as a game, where they could utilize resources such as income, education, or social networks to achieve desired ends. In addition, they engaged in forum shopping for favorable judges or favorable laws, which broadened their family formation options. Although participants in all contexts engaged in legal manipulation or worked around the law, the authors found that such practices were particularly important for those located in legally neutral states given the uncertainty of legal outcomes. When participants employed a “with the law” understanding, they signaled an acknowledgement of the manner in which the law is subject to human agency and, accordingly, they indicated an awareness of the role that they might play in modifying legality.

Keywords:   legal consciousness, with the law, law as a game, legal manipulation, forum shopping, International adoption, social networks

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