Jacob v Shultz-Jacob, 923 A 2d 473, 2007 Pa Super Lexis 957 (Pa Super 2007)

Main Article Content

Robert E Rains


THREE PARENTS?United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once famously opined that, “. . . law, like nature itself, makes no provision for dual fatherhood.”  Of course, we know that many children today are being raised in households where their primary paternal figure is a stepfather, and their natural father, who is their legal father, may or may not exercise some quantum of visitation/access.2  Moreover, many American jurisdictions today allow same-sex couples to adopt, so that a child has either two mothers or two fathers.3  But the situation which Justice Scalia was addressing involved a child whose mother was married at the time of conception, who apparently was the product of her mother’s affair with another man, and where the mother’s husband had forgiven all and accepted the child as his own.4  Justice Scalia could not imagine that the law, or nature, would permit a child to have three parents, in that case a mother and two fathers.  Indeed, in the typical same-sex adoption case, either there is no known father because one of the lesbian partners was inseminated by an anonymous donor,5 or a known donor has agreed to terminate his parental rights.6  In either of those scenarios, a child ends up with the normal number of parents:  two.

Article Details