Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers


This paper explores choosing parentage laws in multistate conduct cases in varying contexts, including cases involving parentage for childcare purpose and for such nonchildcare purposes as tort, probate and child support. Choice of law may be compelled by Full Faith and Credit. Where there is no compulsion, the forum choice of law rules typically apply. These rules, of course, can vary in a single state between contexts, as with parenthood in childcare and in probate settings. These rules can also vary between states in a single context, as with parentage in tort settings. The paper seeks to provide guidance to those who face challenging choice of parentage law issues in multistate conduct cases.

Before examining choice of parentage law norms, the paper first demonstrates the ever-expanding approaches to legal parentage by reviewing many of the forms of childcare parentage set forth by the ULC and ALI. Unlike parentage via biological ties, marriage or formal adoption, these forms are imprecise in that they depend upon assessments of parental-like acts and/or of private agreements on intended parenthood.

Following this survey, the paper explores choice of law rules and precedents on parentage disputes with multistate conduct. The paper reviews disputes involving both childcare and nonchildcare parenthood, thus including cases involving child custody, probate, torts and child support.

Publication Date



College of Law



Suggested Citation

Jeffrey A. Parness, Choosing Parentage Laws in Multistate Conduct Cases, J. Am. Acad. Matrim. Laws. (forthcoming 2022).

Included in

Law Commons



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