The Catholic University of America

CUA Law Professor Emeritus George P. Smith's article "Through a Test Tube Darkly: Artificial Insemination and the Law," 67 Mich. L. Rev. 127, 134 (1968) was cited by the Maryland Court of Appeals, No. 76, September Term, 2015, Stephen Sieglein V. Laura Schmidt. Section1-206(b) from the Maryland Code Annotated seeks to define the term "artificial insemination" which Smith explored in his 1968 article. See below. 
 

The Maryland Court of Appeals, No. 76, September Term, 2015, Stephen Sieglein V. Laura Schmidt

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George P. Smith, Through a Test Tube Darkly: Artificial Insemination and the Law, 67 Mich. L. Rev. 127, 134 (1968). As a result of the introduction of the “false strain of blood”, the child could be deemed as illegitimate, unable to inherit from the husband’s estate. Adultery, and the injection of “bad blood” into the family, uprooted the long-held presumption that a child born during the marriage was legitimate, as the biologic offspring of the wife and her husband. See C. Thomas Dienes, Artificial Donor Insemination: Perspectives on Legal and Social Change, 54 Iowa L. Rev. 253, 279 (1968) (“It is universally recognized that a child born in wedlock is presumed legitimate.”); Smith, 67 Mich. L. Rev. at 140 (“The presumption of a child’s legitimacy is grounded in the English common-law concept that an offspring is deemed legitimate.”). The presumption of legitimacy would be overcome, however, by a showing that the husband was impotent or absent at a time when conception could have occurred. Smith, 67 Mich. L. Rev. at 140. Proof that the wife was impregnated by artificial insemination with donor sperm, then, could overcome the presumption of legitimacy of a child born during a marriage. Holloway, 43 A.B.A.J. at 1092. One viable alternative, it appeared, to establish legitimacy of a child born thorough artificial insemination with donated sperm was legislative action expressly legitimizing the child, although no state legislature had done so by 1957. Id. at 1156 (noting that Virginia, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York and Indiana had contemplated such legislation, but no bills had moved beyond the committee stage). Commentators in the period immediately before the passage of Section 1-206(b), moreover, noted that “artificial insemination” was not an uncommon occurrence, as “it has been estimated that between 10,000 and 250,000 issue of artificial insemination live in the United States today [1968-69]. A.I.D. has, in fact, become so prevalent in this country that it is big business!” Smith, 67 Mich. L. Rev. at 133; see also Dienes, 54 Iowa L. Rev. at 255 16 (“Estimates generally average about 150,000 living Americans born through AID, although some suggest the number may run to several hundred thousand.”).

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Professor Emeritus George P. Smith's Areas of Expertise

Public Health Law

Law, Science, and Medicine

For additional information about our professors' areas of speciality, see his faculty page