Genetic parent, Gestational parent, intended parents

What is a parent? How policy shapes the definition of parenthood

Source Baylor College of Medicine

Once upon a time, it was relatively easy to determine parentage, particularly for women: the one who gave birth was the mother of the child, and the mother’s husband was the legally presumed father.

However, with the advent of assisted reproductive technologies, mere biology – whether genetic or gestational – no longer adequately characterizes a parent-child relationship. What evolved is a trifurcated classification of parentage:

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