November 3, 2012
Adoption in Northern Ireland
A judge in Belfast has ruled gay and unmarried couples in Northern Ireland can now adopt children. The ruling overturns a 1987 law that discriminated against both groups. The judge stated the law “violated human rights laws on privacy and discrimination.” Read more here in the Washington Post.
November 2, 2012
2d COA on Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
The 2d Circuit recently held that "while district courts retain discretion to order the return of a settled child to his or her country of habitual residency, the “now settled” defense available under Article 12 of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, Oct. 25, 1980, T.I.A.S. No. 11,670, 1343 U.N.T.S. 89, reprinted in 51 Fed. Reg. 10,494 (Mar. 26, 1986), is not subject to equitable tolling." Read the opinion here.
November 1, 2012
New Fertility Treatments
Scientists have managed to turn mouse skin cells into eggs that produce baby mice. If successfully applied to humans, this technique could someday allow women to “stop worrying about the ticking of their biological clocks and perhaps even help couples create ‘designer babies.’” For technical and biological reasons, this won't be a reality for a long time, but the possibilities and questions about its use are endless. Read more here.
October 30, 2012
Daughter's Right to Die
SungEun Grace Lee, a 28-year-old New Yorker on life support with terminal brain cancer, is at the center of a court battle between Manhasset's North Shore University Hospital and her own family. Even though Ms. Lee has signed over her medical proxy to her father, who demands to keep her alive over his family's desire not to lose her as well as their religious beliefs, the hospital is testifying that she has said "in no uncertain terms" that she does not want to go on living and wants to be removed from life support. The battle is ongoing, with Mr. Lee insisting his daughter is being coerced by the hospital. Read about it here in the New York Times.
Read more here.
October 29, 2012
Pilot Foster Care Alternative
The Michigan Department of Human Services is among nine states to receive a pilot project waiver aimed at keeping at-risk children (from birth to age 5) in their own homes, rather than placing them in foster care. Under the waiver, the department will try to provide at-risk families with vital services to keep children at home and safe. The project begins on August 1, 2013 in Kalamazoo, Macomb, and Muskegon counties.
Read more here.