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
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)
"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)