Full-Time Faculty

Deborah L. Forman

Professor of Law

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

Contact Information

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Tel. 714.444.4141 ext. 238
Fax. 714.444.1854
Building Two, Room 238

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)


  • Exploring the Boundaries of Families Created with Known Sperm Providers: Who’s In and Who’s Out? — Univ. Penn. Journal of Law & Social Change — (2016) (forthcoming)
  • Abortion Clauses in Surrogacy Contracts: Insights from a Case Study, 49 Family Law Quarterly 31 (2015)
  • Embryo Disposition, Divorce and Family Law Contracting: A Model for Enforceability, 24 Columbia Journal of Gender & Law 378 (2013)
  • 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, Blogs and Other Publications

  • “Abortion and Selective Reduction Clauses in Surrogacy Agreements: What Every Intended Parent and Surrogate Needs to Know,” Path2Parenthood (Nov. 2014).
  • “Mixed-Up Embryos, Missing Gametes And Other Medical Mishaps,” American Fertility Association (2014).
  • Guest Blogger for HealthLawProfBlog, April 2014
  • “Slalom Custody Battle Upends Family Law,” The Daily Journal, February 21, 2014 (with Judith Daar)
  • “Assisted Reproduction And Age: Is There Any Limit?,” American Fertility Association, Oct. 1, 2012.
  • “Whose Treatment Is It Anyway: Lessons from the Disciplinary Proceedings against Nadya Suleman’s Doctor,” American Fertility Association Blog, Oct. 26, 2011.
  • “Using a Known Sperm Donor: Understanding the Legal Risks and Challenges,” American Fertility Association, May 9, 2011.
  • “Informed Consent and the Flood of Forms,” American Fertility Association, Oct. 8, 2010.
  • “Embryo Disposition and Divorce,” American Fertility Association, Oct. 7, 2010.
  • 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.


  • “Exploring the Boundaries of Families Created with Known Gamete Providers: Who’s In and Who’s Out?,” AALS Mid-Year Family Law Meeting, June 23, 2015
  • “Ethical Approaches To Abortion Clauses In Surrogacy Contracts: Insights From A Case Study,” Whittier Law School Symposium, The Anatomy of Assisted Reproduction: The Journey to Modern Family Formation, April 17, 2015
  • “Recent Developments from ART Professional Organizations: A discussion of the proposed ABA Model Act Governing Assisted Reproductive Technology Agencies and news from ASRM,” Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy (SEEDS), April 25, 2014 (Keynote)
  • “What Every ART (and Family Law) Attorney Needs to Know About Clinic Consent Forms,” ABA Family Law Section Spring CLE Conference, Miami, FL, April 21, 2012
  • “Embryo Disposition and Divorce: Why Clinic Consent Forms Are Not the Answer,” 4th Annual Midwest Family Law Consortium, Michigan State University College of Law, June 17, 2011.
  • “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.
  • 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