Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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p. vii

Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

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1. A Double-Edged Sword? Indeterminacy and Family Law

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pp. 1-18

In 1999, an Indiana social worker petitioned to adopt three children, siblings, all of whom had severe disabilities and had been in foster care for most of their lives. The adoption was near completion when the children’s foster parents petitioned to stop the adoption of one of the children. ...

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2. At the Intersection of Sexuality, Family, and Law

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pp. 19-41

It is no longer novel, or open to serious controversy, that lesbian and gay individuals form relationships and exist as families, in varying degrees of visibility, across the United States. Even for those heterosexuals who may not personally know any (out) LGBT individuals...

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3. Negotiating Parental and Sexual Identity

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pp. 43-81

It is not common in public discourse that one would think to stop and determine what the definition of “parent” is—or, for that matter, what the definition of “gay” is. These seem intuitive to the average person, if not self-consciously considered often by him or her. ...

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4. Right or Wrong? The Indeterminacy of Custody and Adoption Rights

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pp. 83-122

The historical, political, and symbolic importance of legal rights, particularly in American legal culture, is well known in popular consciousness and scholarly thought. Americans have seen the First Amendment right of free speech invoked in high-profile settings anywhere from the...

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5. Talking Back Judicial Dissents and Social Change

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pp. 123-151

How do most people come to understand what the law is and what it says? Certainly not by researching decisions handed down by appellate courts or by delving into the family code or penal code. The recent spate of sociolegal scholarship focused on narratives...

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6. Conclusion: Mastering the Double-Edged Sword

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pp. 153-178

This book began with a story of exclusion, of a family relationship literally being judged out of existence by a set of decision-makers and mores that assumed gay male parenthood to be contrary to the best interest of a would-be adoptive child. ...

Appendix 1: Case Names and Citations

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pp. 179-187

Appendix 2: Interview Questions for Attorneys

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pp. 189-190

Appendix 3: Interview Questions for Judges

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pp. 191-193

Appendix 4: Interview Questions for Parents

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p. 195

Appendix 5: List of Interviews

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pp. 197-198

Notes

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pp. 199-228

References

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pp. 229-237

Index

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pp. 239-265

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About the Author

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p. 267

Kimberly D. Richman is an assistant professor of sociology and legal studies at the University of San Francisco.