Area of Expertise
Gay and lesbian families, legal recognition of family relationships other than marriage
Nancy D. Polikoff teaches in the areas of family law, civil procedure, and sexuality and the law. Previously, she supervised family law programs at the Women’s Legal Defense Fund (now National Partnership for Women and Families), and before that she practiced law as part of a feminist law collective. For 30 years, she has been writing about and litigating cases involving lesbian and gay families. Her articles have appeared in numerous law reviews, and her history of the development of the law affecting lesbian and gay parenting appears as a chapter in Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy, and Civil Rights (2000). She helped develop legal theories in support of second-parent adoption and visitation rights for legally unrecognized parents, and she was successful counsel in In re M.M.D., the 1995 case that established joint adoption for lesbian and gay couples in the District of Columbia, and Boswell v. Boswell, the 1998 Maryland case overturning restrictions on a gay noncustodial father’s visitation rights. Polikoff is the author of the recently published book Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families Under the Law (Beacon Press, 2008). For more on the book, go to www.beyondstraightandgaymarriage.com. Please also visit Polikoff's blog.