Ideas about who is a parent and how many parents a child can have legally and socially are shifting, both through the use of contracts and more informal ‘deals’ that facilitate people’s ability to create families. Many same-sex couples, single mothers and even heterosexual couples use legal contracts as a way to clarify intimate family ties. Every family has more informal deals and exchanges, but in the last decades Martha Ertman clarifies that what were once considered mere deals have been upgraded to contracts.
Love’s Promises is an exciting read. It begins with the author’s own story and I was so drawn in I couldn’t put it down. Martha wanted a baby and her then partner did not, which caused them to break up, leaving Martha single and aging. She called an old friend from law school and they decided to test the waters of whether it was good plan for him to become Martha’s sperm donor by spending some time together “getting to know each other.” Martha would be the primary parent while Victor would be less involved. He agreed with the caveat that his involvement could change. A legal contract cemented their plans to have a child (Walter) together. Cut to several years later: Martha falls in love and marries her wife (with Victor and Walter present). Walter now has three parents. Read More