Love and Contracts

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contracts, family, love


On January 28, 2016, the Clason Lecture Series and Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies hosted Martha M. Ertman as a featured speaker. This event was sponsored by Western New England University School of Law. Professor Ertman discussed her book, Love’s Promises: How Formal & Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families, which combines memoir and legal analysis to argue that love comes in different packages, each shaped by different contract and mini-contracts that she calls “deals.”

After telling her own story about becoming part of what she calls a “Plan B” family of two moms and a dad raising a child, Ertman spoke about how all kinds of people – straight and gay, married and single, related by adoption or by genetics – use agreements to shape their relationships. When recognizing this common contractual core, one understands that uncommon families are neither unnatural nor unworthy of legal recognition.

Professor Ertman is the Carole & Hanan Sibel Research Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. She teaches contracts, commercial law, and contract drafting courses and writes about the role of contracts in family relationships, homemaking labor, reproductive technologies, and polygamy.


Contracts | Family Law | Law and Gender