Sunday, March 23, 2008

Report on AFCC & NCJFCJ Wingspread Conference on Domestic Violence and Family Courts

"The Report from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) Wingspread Conference on Domestic Violence and Family Courts is now available online. Written by conference reporters, Professors Nancy Ver Steegh and Clare Dalton, the Report addresses critical tensions raised by the growing awareness that not all uses of violence in intimate relationships are the same. 

The Wingspread Conference featured nearly 40 participants from different backgrounds including family court judges, lawyers, domestic violence advocates, social science and legal scholars, court administrators and psychologists.  Until this conference, there had been no large-scale gathering of the disparate views of many relevant professions, and no attempt to resolve differences in ways that will improve system outcomes for families afflicted by these problems.

The Report will be the centerpiece of a special issue of AFCC’s research and education journal, Family Court Review in July 2008.  Presentations on the Report and work developed by conference participants will be featured at the AFCC 45th Annual Conference, May 28-31, 2008 in Vancouver, BC.  The Report can be accessed on the AFCC Web site at AFCC Website.  For more information, please contact AFCC at AFCC e-mail or (608) 664-3750." By AFCC

March 23, 2008 in Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Commercial Surrogacy in India

"An enterprise known as reproductive outsourcing is a new but rapidly expanding business in India. Clinics that provide surrogate mothers for foreigners say they have recently been inundated with requests from the United States and Europe, as word spreads of India’s mix of skilled medical professionals, relatively liberal laws and low prices.

Commercial surrogacy, which is banned in some states and some European countries, was legalized in India in 2002. The cost comes to about $25,000, roughly a third of the typical price in the United States. That includes the medical procedures; payment to the surrogate mother, which is often, but not always, done through the clinic; plus air tickets and hotels for two trips to India (one for the fertilization and a second to collect the baby)."

By Amelia Gentleman, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 3-24-08 NVS)

March 23, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Double-Proxy Wedding

"The blushless bride wears a hooded sweatshirt of red, offset by a bored expression that says she’s done this dozens of times before. The distracted groom wears a sweatshirt-and-cap ensemble of matching olive, offset by his — not their — infant daughter, now fidgeting toward sleep just outside the cramped room where holy vows are about to be exchanged.

The judge, wearing a white outdoor vest, takes her usual seat and exchanges nice-to-see-you-again pleasantries with the young couple, whom she hasn’t seen since the last time she married them, a week ago.

The three principals get down to the business of solemnizing this marriage. And when they are done, they will have another to solemnize, and another, and another, and another, because this is Montana, the only state to permit that strange and sacred ceremony, the double-proxy wedding, wherein the presence of neither the bride nor the groom is required."

By Dan Barry, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 3-24-08 NVS)

March 23, 2008 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

AFCC eNews

"The Report from the Wingspread Conference on Domestic Violence and Family Courts is now available on the AFCC Web site. Written by Conference Reporters, Professors Nancy Ver Steegh and Clare Dalton, the Report will be the centerpiece of a special issue of Family Court Review in July 2008. The conference was cosponsored by AFCC and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and work developed by conference participants will be featured at the AFCC 45th Annual Conference in Vancouver, BC."

AFCC eNews,  Link to AFCC eNews (last visited 3-4-08 NVS)

March 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

California Supreme Court Considers Same-Sex Marriage

"The California Supreme Court peppered both sides of the same-sex marriage debate with questions today in a 3½-hour hearing into whether the state law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman is constitutional.

The hearing dealt with challenges to the law filed by nearly two dozen same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco, which entered the case after the court invalidated an order by Mayor Gavin Newsom that allowed nearly 4,000 same-sex couples to marry in 2004.

The plaintiffs argue that the California Constitution protects the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Those arguing to keep the law included the state of California, which says the definition of marriage is so deeply engrained in law that only the Legislature or voters have the power to change it, and conservative religious groups, which argue that marriage is for procreation. They point to domestic partnership laws as proof that same-sex couples are not being discriminated against."

By San Francisco Chronicle Link to Article (last visited 3-4-08 NVS)

March 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Recruiting Caseworkers

"Wanted: men and women willing to walk into strange buildings in dangerous neighborhoods, be screamed at by unhinged individuals — perhaps in a language you do not understand — and, on occasion, forcibly remove a child from the custody of a parent because the alternative could have tragic consequences.

It is not the easiest sales pitch in the world, but it is the approach the New York City Administration for Children’s Services is taking in its new recruitment drive, meant to attract workers while informing them of just how difficult the job can be.

As in other child welfare agencies across the country, the retention of qualified workers is a perennial problem for children’s services. Currently, the average caseworker stays less than two years, and that includes some five months of training."

By Marc Santora, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 3-3-08 NVS)

March 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Family Members Provide Child Care

"Grandparents serve as the primary caregivers for about 20 percent of the 11.3 million preschool children with employed mothers, according to data released Thursday by the Census Bureau.

Fathers provide slightly less child care than grandparents, the bureau found. About a quarter of the children under 5 spend most of their time in an organized program like a nursery school, day care or Head Start while their mothers worked.

Whether the mother works or not, relatives regularly provide some regular child care to almost half of the nation’s 19 million preschool children."

by Tamar Lewin, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 3-3-08 NVS)

March 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

China Reconsiders One-child Restriction

"China is studying how to move away from the country’s one-child-per-couple restriction, but any changes would come gradually and would not mean an elimination of family planning policies, a senior official said Thursday. The official, Zhao Baige, vice minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, told reporters at a news conference that government officials recognize that China must alter its current population-control policies.

“We want incrementally to have this change,” Ms. Zhao said, according to Reuters. “I cannot answer at what time or how, but this has become a big issue among decision makers.”"

By Jim Yardley, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 3-3-08 NVS)

March 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)