With friends like these: The liberalization of queer family policy

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The last ten years have seen a historic shift in policies regulating the lives of lesbian and gay citizens, including most recently civil partnerships. In addition, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990) made it possible for lesbians and gay men to access fertility treatments in private clinics. The 2003 review prompted Mary Warnock to argue that such access should be extended to treatment on the National Health Service. In these changing times, Anthony Giddens maintains that lesbian and gay relationships may reflect ideally the 'pure relationship'. Mary Warnock is not so sure and thinks the state should play a more active role in regulating the lives of those wishing to become parents. This article considers the philosophical justifications for policies affecting lesbian and gay couples and their children, deconstructing the assumptions made by Giddens and Warnock about choices and family and questioning the 'friendly' foundation of 'queer family policy'. Copyright © 2007 Critical Social Policy Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-76
Number of pages26
JournalCritical Social Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Choice
  • Fertility
  • Giddens
  • Lesbian/gay
  • Warnock


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