January 11, 2007
Foreign Adoptions Decline
"After tripling over the past 15 years, the number of foreign children adopted by Americans dropped sharply in 2006, the result of multiple factors which have jolted adoption advocates and prompted many would-be adoptive parents to reconsider their options. The consequences could be profound for the ever-growing numbers of Americans interested in adopting abroad. Already, some have had their hopes quashed by tightened eligibility rules in China; adoptions from Africa, where millions of children have been orphaned by AIDS and wars, could increase if those from China and Eastern Europe continue to decrease.
Declines were recorded last year in nearly all countries that recently have been the top sources of adopted children -- China, Russia, South Korea and Ukraine among them. Increases from less familiar alternatives -- Ethiopia, Liberia, Haiti and Vietnam -- partly offset the drop, but some experts believe the era of constantly surging foreign adoption has ended." Associated Press, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 1-10-07)
Legislatures Turn to Children's Issues
"Governors and legislators return to work this month with renewed interest in the needs of their youngest citizens, bringing a slew of ideas on health insurance and education.
Expanding health coverage to all children is emerging as a goal in many states, even as debate continues over how to provide care to all the uninsured, adults and youngsters alike. ''This is not only an economic crisis. It's a human crisis and it demands action now,'' Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, said last week. He promised to reduce the cost of care for families and businesses, and is pushing hard to expand the state's health insurance program to cover all children. Similar expansions are being proposed in Minnesota and California, where Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday called for health care for all children, including illegal immigrants, as part of a sweeping expansion of coverage to nearly all the state's 6.5 million uninsured.
Demands for more emphasis on education, already one of the biggest chunks of state budgets, are getting louder. Courts in Arkansas, Illinois, New Jersey and many other states have ordered legislators to craft more equitable funding systems. And parents and educators are pushing for greater early education, including kindergarten and pre-kindergarten classes." Associated Press, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 1-10-07 NVS)
Afghan Bill Aimed at Forced Marriage
"Seeking to escape cultural oppression and economic hardship, an alarming number of Afghan women are taking their own lives. The trend has prompted a bill aimed at ending such practices as forced marriages." By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, National Public Radio Link to Audio (last visited 1-10-07 NVS)
January 9, 2007
Law Review Articles: Bankruptcy and Family Law
Daniel A. Austin, For Debtor or Worse: Discharge of Marital Debt Obligations Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, 51 WAYNE L. REV. 1369 (2005). This article provides an overview of the connection between divorce and bankruptcy including an analysis of the impact of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (2005) changes to the 1978 Bankruptcy Code. The author predicts how the revisions are likely to be applied with respect to marital debt discharge. Link to Article
Jackie Gardina, The Perfect Storm: Bankruptcy, Choice of Law, and Same-sex Marriage, 86 B.U. L. REV. 881 (2006). This article analyzes choice of law issues likely to arise when bankruptcy courts consider property interests arising from same-sex marriages and civil unions. The author concludes that bankruptcy courts are not mandated to apply a forum state’s choice of law rules and that bankruptcy courts should instead apply the state law most consistent with underlying Bankruptcy Code policy. Link to Article on Westlaw
Anthony Michael Sabino, Violence of Action: the Bankruptcy Code, Domestic Relations Law, and the New War with State Probate Law, 19 QUINNIPIAC PROB. L.J. 264 (2006). This article discusses the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 focusing in part on automatic stay and dischargeability of debts arising from domestic relations proceedings. Link to Article on Westlaw
Last visited 1-8-07 NVS