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Queering Family TreesRace, Reproductive Justice, and Lesbian Motherhood$
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Sandra Patton-Imani

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479865567

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479865567.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Navigating Illegitimacy

Navigating Illegitimacy

Socialization, Race, and Difference, 2000–2003

(p.137) 5 Navigating Illegitimacy
Queering Family Trees

Sandra Patton-Imani

Sandra Patton-Imani

NYU Press

I explore the first few years of the twenty-first century through the stories of mothers negotiating a sense of belonging and legitimacy in a sociopolitical context of shifting laws and policies about same-sex marriage and adoption. I explore the ways that mothers navigate the treacherous terrain of socializing their children in a society that denigrates their families—for example, in hospital care, education, and transracial adoption. I explore legal changes in Vermont in 2000 and Massachusetts in 2003 legalizing same-sex unions, and the ways these decisions lay legal groundwork for the widespread use of the civil rights movement as an analogy for the “marriage equality” movement. The legal strategy of arguing for the rights of same-sex couples to marry based on the harms that illegitimacy will impose on their children emerged as an important legal precedent that shaped the way same-sex marriage was legalized federally in 2015.

Keywords:   Civil rights movement, Socialization, Same-sex marriage, Transracial adoption, Marriage equality, Belonging, Legitimacy, Education, Hospital care

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