Feminist Legal Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 141–167 | Cite as

Unlikely Fissures and Uneasy Resonances: Lesbian Co-mothers, Surrogate Parenthood and Fathers’ Rights

  • Jenni MillbankEmail author


This article explores commonalities between parental claims for lesbian co-mothers and other contexts in which intention is a key aspect to family formation for (mostly) heterosexual families: in particular, surrogacy and pre-birth disputes over embryos. Through a series of case studies drawn from recent reproductive controversies, the paper uses the lens of empathy to argue for social or non-genetic modes of parenthood connecting lesbian mothers and other ‘reproductive outsiders’.


Assisted reproductive technology Empathy Fathers’ rights Lesbian mothers Non-genetic parenthood Surrogacy 



My thanks to Tiffany Hambley, Anita Stuhmcke and Lesley Townsley for their comments on earlier drafts, as well as on-going discussion of many of the ideas informing the paper, and to Kirsten Camarsh for her research assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of Technology, Sydney (UTS)BroadwayAustralia

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