December 10, 2011
Infertility Tax Credit
Rep. Lewis (D-Ga) has introduced a tax credit for infertility treatments in the Family Act 2011. Read the bill here.
December 9, 2011
Dew & Wilcox: "Give and You Shall Receive? Generosity, Sacrifice, & Marital Quality"
Jeffrey Dew & W. Bradford Wilcox have posted "Give and You Shall Receive? Generosity, Sacrifice, and Marital Quality" on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This study seeks to determine if spouses who reject the individualistic tenor of contemporary life by embracing a spirit of generosity and sacrifice in their marriages enjoy higher-quality marriages than their peers who do not. Relying on data from the new, nationally representative Survey of Marital Generosity (N=3,146), we found that for both husbands and wives, generosity — defined here as small acts of kindness, regular displays of affection and respect, and a willingness to forgive one’s spouse their faults and failings — was positively associated with marital satisfaction and negatively associated with marital conflict and perceived divorce likelihood. However, the association between making major sacrifices and marital quality varied by gender. Uniformly, wives who reported making major sacrifices for their husband were less satisfied in their marriages. But for husbands, this association depended on their levels of satisfaction with sacrificing. The more satisfied husbands reported being with sacrificing for their wives, the less making a major sacrifice for their wife was associated with lower marital satisfaction. Overall, then, regular expressions of generosity, but not major acts of sacrifice, are linked to higher quality marriages among contemporary spouses (aged 18-55).
From the New York Times:
The week before they abducted their eight children from a foster care center in Queens, Nephra and Shanel Payne stocked up at Costco on supplies and dry goods, like graham crackers, diapers and infant formula for Nefertiti, their 11-month-old daughter. They stashed family photos and important documents in a storage facility and crammed a basketball and a football — essential for traveling with a Little League team’s worth of boys — into their car.
They had just been told, they said, that New York City’s child welfare agency was planning to put their children, some of whom had been in foster care for nearly three years, up for adoption rather than reuniting them with their parents.
“It’s either do something or let your kids get swallowed by a system that does not have a heart,” Mr. Payne, 35, said. “To do nothing would have been more hurtful, more reckless.”
Read more here.
December 8, 2011
Background Checks Faulty?
Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach at the center of the Penn State child sexual abuse scandal, should have been a familiar figure to child welfare officials around his central Pennsylvania home for decades.
Long before his arrest this month on 40 charges related to child sex abuse, Sandusky successfully navigated the system's various background checks to become the adoptive father of five sons and a daughter, a foster parent, a host for a half-dozen Fresh Air Fund children from New York City and a congressional honoree as an "Angel in Adoption."
Court records show Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, were designated to coordinate visits with his grandchildren as recently as last year when one son's marriage began to disintegrate.
Read more here.
December 7, 2011
460 FL Adoptions in November--National Adoption Month
In November, 460 children statewide became part of a permanent, loving family. Throughout the month, the Florida Department of Children and Families and our many community partners celebrated National Adoption Month by holding dozens of community group adoption ceremonies.
These adoptions included 44 sibling groups, including four groups of four siblings, three groups of five siblings and one group of seven siblings all being adopted together. The final number for this year is up slightly from 450 children adopted during November last year.
Read more here.
December 6, 2011
Relationship Splits Yield More than Split Ends
From Huffington Post:
Getting divorced is tough. Splitting your finances, your property, your kids, your time -- all of those factors can lead to high levels of stress. And according to a new study, all of that stress can lead to increased hair loss in divorced women.
Dr. Bahman Guyuron, the study's lead author, found that women who have had multiple marriages (including widows and divorcees) suffer more hair loss than those who are happily married. In men, marital status did not appear to impact hair loss patterns; genetics and excessive smoking were the top factors. He analyzed the lifestyles and hair patterns of 66 identical male twins and 84 female twins to determine which external factors contribute to hair loss.
Read more here.
December 5, 2011
Call for Papers
The Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality is currently seeking submissions for its inaugural issue and symposium, “Whither Social Equality?” The issue and the symposium, to be held on March 30, 2012, in Bloomington, Indiana, will explore the current state of social equality thought from a variety of perspectives and address a variety of different forms of (in)equality (race, class, gender, sexual orientation, intersectionality, and familial status).
Submit papers, proposals, or abstracts to email@example.com by January 16, 2012. Papers may be accepted for publication, presentation at the symposium, or both. Papers may vary in length from short essays to more traditional law review length (latter preferred).
December 4, 2011
Westreich: "The 'Gatekeepers' of Jewish Marriage Law: Marriage Annulment as a Test Case"
Avishalom Westreich (Ramat Gan Law School) has posted "The 'Gatekeepers' of Jewish Marriage Law: Marriage Annulment as a Test Case" (forthcoming J. L. & Religion) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
From early classic commentators to modern Jewish Law scholars, the character of marriage annulment in Jewish Law has been much debated. These debates revolve around the appropriate reading of Talmudic sources. Nevertheless, textual analysis of the main passages reveals support for almost all the competing opinions.
Normally, as the paper argues, Jewish Law is characterized by a pluralist discourse and, despite acrimonious controversies, the merits of competitive arguments are recognized, receiving some legitimacy – at least on a post factum level. Nevertheless, Jewish family law, and especially the case of marriage annulment, is characterized quite differently. In the last few decades some proposals of marriage annulment were raised as a solution to the problem of chained wives (agunot). On the basis of the analysis of Talmudic and post-Talmudic sources we could expect some acceptance of these proposals. Yet those solutions have met severe objections, frequently resulting in total rejection, accompanied by strong emotional reactions. These phenomena patently diverge from the pluralist hermeneutic discourse normally characterizing JewishLaw. The paper compares the discourse in the marriage annulment debate with related matters, such as tort compensation to chained spouses and the conversion conflict. Hence, the paper argues that social conflicts, struggles for monopoly, and the hold of symbolic capital – applying here the construct and terminology of Pierre Bourdieu – direct the development of this particular issue of Jewish Law.
The paper contributes to three areas: first, it proposes a study of one of the core issues of Jewish Law, which has been intensively discussed and debated since antiquity to the present day. Second, the paper analyzes the discourse which characterizes the field, proposing a new comprehension of its dynamics, while indicating the conflicts and symbolic struggles serving as the main catalyst. Finally, the paper may be regarded as a test case for applying a critical-sociological theory to the development of a specific legal field, shedding new lights on the potential range of its application.