Full-Time Faculty

Deborah L. Forman

Professor of Law

  • A.B., Brown University
  • J.D., Stanford Law School

Contact Information

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Tel. 714.444.4141 ext. 238
Fax. 714.444.1854
Building Two, Room 238

Courses Offered

Since joining the faculty in 1990, Professor Forman has taught Torts, Family Law and various seminars in family-law related topics. Her scholarship has focused largely on family law, particularly issues concerning non-traditional families, including unwed fathers and same-sex parents. In 1998, she published a book, Every Parent’s Guide to the Law, a comprehensive treatment of a vast array of legal issues facing parents. From 1999 to 2007, Professor Forman served as Director of the Whittier Law School Center for Children’s Rights. During her tenure, she spear-headed creation of the Whittier Journal of Child and Family Advocacy, was involved in the establishment of the Law School’s Children’s Rights Clinic and organized yearly symposia on issues ranging from adoption to special education, in addition to enhancing the opportunities for and working closely with the Children’s Rights Fellows in the program.

In 2007, Professor Forman brought her expertise in children’s rights to public policy work. As a consultant with Public Works, Inc., Professor Forman drafted reports and presented recommendations to Washington State’s Department of Early Learning. That year, she also had the opportunity to meld her interest in and knowledge of both torts and family law, when she joined the National Fertility Law Center (now International Fertility Law Group) as Of Counsel. In that capacity, she specializes in counseling physicians on informed consent issues and drafting forms that reflect the unique issues faced by fertility clinics and their patients. In 2009, she was appointed to the newly formed Legal Advisory Group of the American Fertility Association.

Books and Book Chapters

  • Every Parent’s Guide to the Law (Harcourt Brace 1998)
  • Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family (contributing author) (MacMillan & Co. 1995)


  • Embryo Disposition and Divorce: Why Clinic Consent Forms Are Not the Answer, 24 J. Amer. Acad. of Matrimonial Lawyers 57 (2011).
  • When ‘Bad’ Mothers Make Worse Law: A Critique of Legislative Limits on Embryo Transfer, 14 Univ. Penn. J. L. & Soc. Change 273 (2011).
*_ Washington State Child Care Subsidy Policy Report_, June 30, 2007 (principal author), and Child Care Subsidy Policy, Feb. 28, 2008 (coauthor, with Marion Reitz), both published under the auspices of Public Works, Inc. for Washington’s Department of Early Learning.
  • Fathers, Gender Conflict, and Family Law: A Multidisciplinary Perspective, 40 Family Law Quarterly 149 (2006). (Guest Editor of Symposium on Fathers and Family Law)
  • Same-Sex Partners: Strangers, Third Parties or Parents? The Changing Legal Landscape and the Struggle for Parental Equality, 40 Family Law Quarterly 23 (2006).
  • Interstate Recognition of Same-Sex Parents in the Wake of Gay Marriage, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships, 46 Boston College Law Review 1 (2005).
  • Married with Kids and Moving: Achieving Recognition of Same-Sex Parents under the Uniform Parentage Act, 4 Whittier Journal of Child & Family Advocacy 241 (2005).
  • Unwed Fathers and Adoption: A Theoretical Analysis in Context, 72 Texas Law Review 1 (1994).
  • What Difference Does It Make? Gender and Jury Selection, 2 UCLA Women’s Law Journal 35 (1992).

Editorials and Commentaries

  • Michael H. and the Movie Nine Months: Truth is Sadder Than Fiction, Of Counsel (Fall 1995)
  • Unwed Fathers and Adoption: “Best Interests” Standard Unfair to Men Who Want Parental Responsibility, L.A. Daily Journal, October 29, 1993.


  • “When “Bad” Mothers Make Worse Law: A Critique of Legislative Limits on Embryo Transfer,” University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Conference on Motherhood: Reclaiming Our Past-Transforming Our Future, Mar. 13, 2010.
  • “Embryo Disposition and Divorce: Why Clinic Consent Forms Are Not The Answer,” Michigan State College of Law, 4th Annual Midwest Family Law Consortium, June 17, 2011.
  • Whittier Law School’s Center for Children’s Rights: Comprehensive Training for Children’s Advocates, Harvard-ABA Conference on Children and the Law, Harvard Law School, April 13, 2007
  • The Evolving Definition of Family and Minor Consent, U.S.C. Medical School, January 20, 2006 & February 9, 2007
  • Achieving Recognition of Same Sex Parents, J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, October, 2004
  • Same Sex Parents after Goodridge: New Rights, New Questions, S. New England School of Law, June 2004
  • Legal Issues in the Treatment of Adolescents, UCLA-Harbor Medical Center, Pediatrics Department (March 1998 & April 2003)
  • Issues and Opportunities in Child Advocacy, Whittier College
  • The Legal Construction of Parenthood, UCSD Institute of Continuing Learning, February 1998
  • Recent Developments Concerning Unwed Fathers and Adoption, International Society of Family Law Regional Conference, June 14, 1996
  • The Legal Construction of Fatherhood, International Society of Family Law, North American Regional Conference, June 11, 1993
  • Unwed Fathers and Adoption, Los Angeles County Bar Bioethics Committee, November 1993
  • Numerous Radio and Television Appearances
  • 2009-Present American Fertility Association Advisory Group.
  • 2006-Present ABA Reproductive and Genetic Technology Committee
  • 2008-Present American Society of Reproductive Medicine
  • 2009-Present Society of Assisted Reproduction Professionals
  • 2007-2008 Homeboy Legal Advisory Committee
  • 1991-Present California State Bar–Family Law Section
  • 1991-1996 Los Angeles County Bar Association, Bioethics Committee
  • 1989-1990 Los Angeles County Barristers, Children’s Rights Committee