February 7, 2009
Tort Claim Against Hospital for Denial of Visitation for Dying Same-Sex Partner
The Miami Herald reports that a federal judge in the Southern District of Florida will decide whether the tort case against a Miami hospital for failure to allow visitation to a same-sex parent could proceed to trial. The surviving woman, Janice Langbehn, is from Washington state and was on a cruise with her partner of seventeen years, and their three adopted children, when the now-deceased woman had a heart attack. The hospital refused visitation for over eight hours; Langbehn was allowed to see her partner receive last rites. A copy of the complaint in pdf is here; more information is available on the Lambda website here.
The tort suit brings Florida's "little DOMA" legislation into sharp relief - - - Florida has both a statute and a constitutional amendment defining marriage as limited to one man and one woman.
February 5, 2009
Conferences -- Adoption and Child Welfare
According to the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the following conferences about adoption and child welfare are scheduled to occur in the next few months:
- BACW 2009 Annual Conference
Bridging the Gap for Our Children, Our Legacy
Black Administrators in Child Welfare, Inc.
March 8–10, Long Beach, CA
- Fifth Annual Conference on Childhood Grief and Traumatic Loss
Restoring Joy to Children and Families
ICAN Associates, Inc.
March 26, Los Angeles, CA
- 36th Annual New England Adoption Conference
Adoption Community of New England, Inc.
March 28, Bellingham, MA
- 17th Annual Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
Focusing on the Future: Strengthening Families and Communities
Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect
March 30–April 4, Atlanta, GA
- 27th Annual Protecting Our Children National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
National Indian Child Welfare Association
April 19–22, Reno, NV
- American Adoption Conference 30th Annual Conference
April 22–26, Cleveland, OH
- NFPA 39th Annual Education Conference
Focus on the Future . . . Love a Child
National Foster Parent Association
May 4–8, Reno, NV
- Eighth Annual National Citizen Review Panel Conference
May 20–22, Jackson Hole, WY
February 3, 2009
Surviving Same -Sex Partner in Canadian marriage ruled "spouse"
In a brief opinion, a Surrogate Judge in New York recognized a Canadian same-sex marriage for probate purposes, declaring the surviving partner the "surviving spouse and sole distributee" and thus not requiring process to other members of the decedent's family.
A copy of the Kristin Booth Glen's opinion, published in the New York Law Journal, page 27, today, is available here and the front-page article is available here,
and continued here.
February 2, 2009
Ohio adopts rules for Guardians Ad Litem
Completing a process begun in 2001, the Supreme Court of Ohio has adopted new rules governing the requirements for guardians ad litem in juvenile and domestic child custody cases. The new rule 48 provides that courts must enter an order appointing either a GAL or a GAL and attorney advocate for the child. The rule includes a broad range of responsibilities for Guardians ad Litem, which are mandated unless impracticable or inadvisable. These responsibilities include interviewing the parents and child and visiting the child in his or her residence. All GALs are required to file a written, final report at least seven days before a final hearing.
Read the new rule 48 here (as a word document).
The new rule follows an extensive study of the Ohio GAL system which examined GAL services provided to abused and neglected children throughout the state. The data for the study was collected through surveying guardians ad litem, juvenile/family court judges and through information contained in a sample of local court records. Many of the recommendations from that report have found their way into the new rule. Read the Ohio CASA/GAL Study Committee's Final Report: In the Interest of Abused and Neglected Children. (last visited Feb. 2, 2009 bgf)
Florida Bar Association votes to file amicus in favor of adoption by gay couples
The National Law Journal reports that Florida Bar's board of governors voted unanimously to file an amicus brief before the 3rd District Court of Appeal supporting a Miami-Dade circuit judge's ruling that declared unconstitutional the state's ban on gay adoptions. Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman ruled in November that the state's ban on gay adoption was unconstitutional. bgf