Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Family Court Review, Vol. 56 No. 3 (July 2018), pp 364–373.

doi 10.1111/fcre.12353


Copyright © 2018 Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Published by John Wiley & Sons. Used by permission.


This article addresses how the law affects family formation among families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) parents in the United States. Our discussion draws on a socio-legal approach to law that focuses not only on the law on the books (what we refer to as “legal barriers”) but also on issues like how the law is practiced, how people experience the law in everyday life, and how the law serves as an interpretive framework through which people understand themselves and their families (what we refer to as “social barriers”). In our review, we highlight how attorneys can play a role in valuing and advancing rights for LGBQ-parent families and LGBTQ prospective parents.