Sex Workers and the Best Interests of their Children: Identifying Issues Faced by Sex Workers Involved in Custody and Access Legal Proceedings
Date of Award
Master of Laws (LLM)
Shelley Margot Kierstead
Sex worker parents often lose custody of their children. The purpose of this research was to determine what impact the status of a parent as a past or present sex worker has had on judicial decision-making in custody and access disputes. Through doctrinal legal research, I explored judicial treatment of sex worker parents in custody and access disputes in Ontario Child Protection and Family Law case law. Parental involvement in sex work was often presented as an unfavourable aspect of the parent, or otherwise had a negative influence on their claim. Sex work was treated as a negative quality in a parent rather than an aspect of their life warranting further factual exploration. I argue that stigma against sex workers appears to carry more weight in custody and access disputes than evidence concerning the impact that a parents engagement in sex work has on a child.
DeWolf, Julie Eleanor, "Sex Workers and the Best Interests of their Children: Identifying Issues Faced by Sex Workers Involved in Custody and Access Legal Proceedings" (2020). LLM Theses. 44.
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