Tag Archives: Susan B. Boyd

NIP (20%off) Autonomous Motherhood: A Socio-Legal Study of Choice and Constraint (Boyd, Chunn, Kelly and Wiegers)

From the publisher (U of Toronto Press, 2015)

Since the end of the Second World War, increasing numbers of women have decided to become mothers without intending the biological father or a partner to participate in parenting. Many conceive via donor insemination or adopt; others become pregnant after a brief sexual relationship and decide to parent alone.

Using a feminist socio-legal framework, Autonomous Motherhood? probes fundamental assumptions within the law about the nature of family and parenting. Drawing on a range of empirical evidence, including legislative history, case studies, and interviews with single mothers, the authors conclude that while women may now have the economic and social freedom to parent alone, they must still negotiate a socio-legal framework that suggests their choice goes against the interests of society, fatherhood, and children.

Coming April 2015 Use flier below (click for PDF) to preorder – 20% off in paperback.

Profs Boyd and Wiegers will be presenting on this project at LSA in Seattle and Prof Boyd will then jet over to Ottawa for CLSA so you can see her there too.  Boyd.AutonomousMotherhood_Page_1The Authors: Susan B. Boyd is a professor and holds the Chair in Feminist Legal Studies in the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia. Dorothy E. Chunn is a professor emerita of sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University. Fiona Kelly is a senior lecturer in the School of Law at La Trobe University. Wanda Wiegers is a professor in the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan.


Papers from this project

Susan Boyd, “Autonomy for Mothers? Relational Theory and Parenting Apart” (2010) 18(2) Feminist Legal Studies 137-158. (R)

Susan Boyd, “Rights of single moms by choice collide with claims of genetic dads” (February 15, 2008) 27:38 Lawyers Weekly 13.

Fiona Kelly, “Autonomous From the Start: Single Mothers by Choice in the Canadian Legal System” (2012) 24:3 Child and Family Law Quarterly 257-283.

Fiona Kelly, “Autonomous Motherhood and the Law: Exploring the Narratives of Canada’s Single Mothers by Choice” (2012-13) 28(1) Canadian Journal of Family Law 63-104.


1. Motherhood, Autonomy, Choice, and Constraint

2. Autonomous Mothers and the Emergence of Unmarried Fathers’ Rights to Access and Custody

3. “A Person is the Child of his Natural Parents”: Illegitimacy, Law Reform, and Maternal Autonomy

4. Custody and Access Disputes between Unmarried, Non-Cohabiting Biological Parents 1945–2009

5. Women’s Experiences Of Autonomous Motherhood, 1965–2010: An Historical Snapshot

6. Autonomous from the Start: The Narratives of Single Mothers by Choice

7. Whither Autonomous Motherhood? Choice and Constraint

Here are some other published papers from this project:

Boyd: "Marriage is More than Just a Piece of Paper: Feminist Critiques of Same Sex Marriage"

This article reviews feminist critiques of same sex marriage and analyzes how marriage as a ocio-legal institution relates to inequality based on factors such as sex, race and class. The article first identifies how the legalization of same sex marriage can be viewed as a positive step in the quest for equality and recognition of lesbians and gay men. It then describes the legal and statistical trends in relation to marriage in Canada, as one of the first countries to legalize same sex marriage. The heart of the article discusses the key feminist critiques of both marriage and same sex marriage, drawing on an international survey of primarily English language literature. It considers why these critiques have been understated in the debates on same sex marriage and reviews empirical studies on the views of lesbians and gay men on marriage. While acknowledging that legal marriage can offer important rights to some couples, the conclusion suggests alternatives to placing marriage at the center of the lesbian and gay movement for equality and recognition.

via Marriage is More than Just a Piece of Paper: Feminist Critiques of Same Sex Marriage by Susan B. Boyd :: SSRN.