Friday, September 18, 2020
Five years after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages around the U.S., more than a half million households are made up of married same-sex couples, according to figures the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday.
Since 2014, the year before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages, the number of married same-sex households has increased by almost 70%, rising to 568,110 couples in 2019, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
Of the 980,000 same-sex couple households reported in 2019, 58% were married couples and 42% were unmarried partners, the survey showed.
There were slightly more female couple households than male couple households.
“Opponents of marriage equality frequently argued that same-sex couples really weren’t all that interested in marriage. But the large increase in marriages among same-sex couples since marriage equality became legal nationwide offers evidence of the clear desire for marriage among same-sex couples,” said Gary Gates, a demographer specializing in LGBT issues.
The survey revealed noticeable economic differences between male couples and female couples, as well as same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples.
Read more here.
Thursday, September 17, 2020
From the Detroit News:
A tightly clenched marriage story, writer-director Sean Durkin’s “The Nest” takes place at the height of the mid-1980s, a year or two before Gordon Gekko and Oliver Stone made unscrupulous capitalism so damnably aspirational in “Wall Street.”
Durkin’s second feature is not primarily concerned with deregulated excess or financial matters, however. “The Nest” is more about the dangerous facades and thin ice of so many family relationships. The troubled air of Durkin’s previous feature, the eerily effective cult drama “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” has something in common with the air in this one.
When we first see Rory, played by Jude Law, he’s making a transatlantic phone call that will change his life. The steely look on his face just before dialing suggests a natural-born deception artist about to go into his dance.
Read more here.
From Vanity Fair ("One of the Best Films of the Year"):
When I first saw the new film The Nest (in theaters on September 18, available digitally November 17), it played as tragedy. All the way back at Sundance—a flickering memory from a distant, lost age—I regarded Sean Durkin’s stately, restrained work as a grim tale of economic ruin. Jude Law plays a scheming businessman, or perhaps conman, who moves his wife (Carrie Coon) and children (Oona Roche and Charlie Shotwell) back to his native England, with the plan to make a mint in the slowly modernizing London business sector. Things fall apart, the family fractures. I left the film chilled and anxious.
I watched it again this week, after months of so many real things falling apart, and the film played differently, to surprising effect. Its bleak mechanics were still there; Law’s Rory is still a shifty liar, Coon’s Allison still drowns in her own compromise, the kids Samantha and Benjamin still spin off into isolated neglect. But buried under all that—something unearthed by the end of Durkin’s exquisitely modulated film—is a weird, weary kind of hope. The family bottoms out, and will need to wrestle their way back up to the surface somehow. But still, they’re there, warts and resentments and all.
The Nest is a complex movie, despite its economical size. At initial glance, it is mostly just the story of a family moving, sort of for Dad’s job, and not finding what they like in their new environment. It’s not terribly far off from a great Simpsons episode about the same thing. But what Durkin does so smartly—as he did in his debut feature and most recent film, Martha Marcy May Marlene—is fill the picture with a creeping atmosphere that implies deeper, danker things beyond what we’re seeing in literal form.
Read more here.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
From the Atlantic:
Yet nearly half of all married couples are likely to divorce, and many couples report feeling unhappy in their relationships. Instructors of Northwestern University’s Marriage 101 class want to change that. The goal of their course is to help students have more fulfilling love relationships during their lives. In Marriage 101, popular books such as Mating in Captivity and For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage are interspersed with meaty academic studies. Students attend one lecture a week and then meet in smaller breakout groups to discuss the weekly topics, which range from infidelity to addiction, childrearing to sexuality in long-term relationships.
At first glance, this class may seem a tad too frivolous for a major research university. But the instructors say it’s not an easy A and its reputation as a meaningful, relevant, and enlightening course has grown steadily over the 14 years it’s been offered. In fact, teachers are forced to turn away eager prospective students every year. This spring, the enrollment will be capped at 100. The class is kept to a manageable size so that students can grapple at a deeply personal level with the material during their discussion sessions.
The Marriage 101 professors believe college is the perfect time for students to learn about relationships. “Developmentally, this is what the college years are all about: Students are thinking about who they are as people, how they love, who they love, and who they want as a partner,” Alexandra Solomon, a professor and a family therapist, says. Solomon will be teaching the course along with a team of four other faculty, all affiliated with Northwestern’s Family Institute, and 11 teaching assistants. “We’re all really passionate about talking about what makes a healthy relationship.” The professors see the course—which requires journaling exercises, interviews with married couples, and several term papers—as a kind of inoculation against potential life trauma.
Historians tell us that marriage education in America began as a way to keep women’s sexuality in check. “Marriage education has been for hundreds of years aimed at women. It was considered their responsibility to keep the marriage going,” Stephanie Coontz, a co-chairwoman of the Council on Contemporary Families and the author of Marriage: A History, tells me. During the 1920s and 1930s, Coontz explains in her book, fears about sexual liberation and the future of marriage led eugenics proponents such as Paul Popenoe to become enthusiastic about marriage counseling. “If we were going to promote a sound population, we would not have to get the right kind of people married, but we would have to keep them married,” Popenoe wrote.
College-level marriage courses became even more popular during the post-World War II period, when marriage rates were at an all-time high and women were encouraged to embrace a new role as happy homemakers. Marriage education during that time, Coontz explains, was similarly driven by a strong emphasis on stereotypical gender, race, and class ideas about how a marriage should ideally be conducted. “The received wisdom of the day was that the only way to have a happy marriage was for the woman to give up any aspirations that might threaten the man’s sense of superiority, to make his interests hers, and to never ask for help around the house.” In one case, cited in Rebecca Davis’s book More Perfect Unions, a young wife became convinced, after a series of sessions at the Ohio State University’s marriage clinic, that her husband’s straying was a result of her failing to do her duty by taking care of her looks and keeping a proper home. And NYU’s College of Engineering presented “Good Wife Awards” to women who put their spouses first, providing the domestic support that allowed their husbands to concentrate on their studies.
Read more here.
Monday, September 14, 2020
From Erez Aloni (University of British Columbia Law), writing for Equality JOTWELL a review of Maxine Eichner, The Free-Market Family (2020):
In July 2020, newspapers reported a study that ranked the United States as the second-worst country—after Mexico—to raise a family out of 35 OECD countries. The US failed, in particular, in the categories of cost to raise a family, time parents have to spend with their children, and safety as related to raising a family. Sadly, for families who struggle with this issue, this report held nothing surprising. The Free-Market Family (2020), by Maxine Eichner, affirms the study and adds much more. The book details, in a comprehensive and nuanced manner, the failure of the US to support its families. Eichner argues that over the past five decades the US has gradually adopted an extreme version of “free-market family policy,” in which the government’s role in helping families to care for their children, especially in their early years, is minimal. Families are sacrificed to the market’s mercy, juggling work and caregiving, in what becomes a mission impossible for all but the ultra-rich. The result is devastating: the well-being of most US families—measured across such standards as happiness, academic achievement, mental health, time to spend with family, and economic mobility—is significantly worse in comparison to other similar countries.
The Free-Market Family is mandatory reading for anyone who wants to understand how laissez-faire public policies fail most US families. Diligently and elegantly, Eichner maps and analyzes the various policies that contribute to this failure. One of the book’s primary strengths lies in the richness of disciplines, resources, and methodologies she engages—from history to political economy, from major news stories to economic data, from interviews with 39 parents to comparative policies across various nations. Together, the book provides a thorough and rigorous account of the policies that the US has embraced, including their political origins and their harm, and offers suggestions about how to correct them. Eichner’s style is crisp and delightful, making even her meticulous detailing of policies and data accessible to a broad audience without compromising the critical nuances of these issues. The personal narratives make the story less abstract, and are often very touching.
Economic inequality is the major story that Eichner tells. Although free-market policies harm most families—even middle- and upper-middle-class—not surprisingly, those who are harmed the most are poor and working-class families. Many of these families’ problems stem from the economic insecurity they face and from the government’s hands-off policies. Due to unstable jobs, child benefits in a form of a tax credit (rather than guaranteeing minimum income), and welfare policies that aim mainly at putting parents to work (often even in the year that a child is born), low-income parents often struggle to put food on their family’s table or provide stable housing. In the first year after a child’s birth, a period that is enormously important to the child’s development and to the recovery of the birth mother, they often cannot afford even a short time of parental leave, let alone an entire year (and often need to pay a hospital bill). Yet, the federal law provides only three months of unpaid parental leave, and, thanks to exemptions, a large percentage of families do not qualify for even this benefit. The US is the only OECD country without a policy of paid parental leave.
At the same time, parents’ work hours can be highly unpredictable, they might need to work nights and/or take second and third jobs—all of which make the task of finding good childcare nearly impossible. Further, government failure to provide subsidized daycare, as well as reliable and supervised care centers, make their parenting task impossible: not only do they experience the stress of juggling all this (indeed, surviving), they cannot spend time with their children or provide quality parenting. In a system that strongly relies on parents to privately navigate raising children, these parents have less time and fewer resources to spend on their children than their more affluent counterparts. The result is that economic mobility for children from these families is significantly lower than in other countries (P. 9). Finally, prekindergarten programs—which play an important role in equalizing between children from wealthy and low-income families—are too expensive and typically inaccessible to most. Fewer than 40 percent of three-year-old in the US are enrolled in such programs, compared with 90 percent in such countries as France, the UK, Germany, and Israel (P. 113). This is just the tip of the iceberg of the account that the book provides of how “poor and low-income families bear the harshest burdens of free-market family policy” (P. 119).
The free-market family-policy approach that the US has adopted, Eichner persuasively contends, is so radical that policymakers frequently prioritize market operations that harm the family, instead of markets that work for improving the well-being of families. Conversely, in a “pro-family” approach—a version of which has been adopted by virtually all other wealthy democracies, and often by countries that are much less wealthy than the US— the market constrained by the government in order to help the people. These policies include: limiting work hours so parents can spend time with their families, publicly paid parental leave for up to a year (in the case of two parents, policy often includes incentives for the other parent to take some leave), strong safety-net programs, child benefits in the form of monthly income, and subsidized and supervised quality daycare—to name just a few.
Read more here.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Naomi Cahn (UVA) & Linda C. McClain (BU) have recently posted their article Gendered Complications of Covid-19: Towards a Feminist Recovery Plan, Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law (2020). Here is the abstract:
Gendered inequalities are on the frontlines of Covid-19. The catalogue of Covid-19’s impact covers all aspects of women’s lives: work, family, education, health, reproduction, mental and physical well-being, and leisure. The pandemic has exposed the limitations in the current economic system on public and private support for gender equity and the intersecting impact of gender, race, and class in that lack of support. Women of color, particularly Black, Latina, and Native American, are at the intersection of the inequities in the emerging stay-at-home economy. This Article argues that Covid-19 is likely to have complex implications for gender equality and gender equity as state and local governments, the federal government, and private actors focus on recovery plans. The negative impact includes hundreds of thousands of deaths, lingering health complications for many among the several million people who have already contracted the virus, massive economic disruption and loss for individuals, families, and communities and the exacerbation of structural inequalities. The creative policy responses prompted by the devastating impact of Covid-19 provide promise for building a more transformative and equitable future. Indeed, any roadmap to resilience is incomplete without addressing the gender inequities in our social infrastructure. Proposing a feminist recovery plan, this Article focuses on a set of issues relating to gender inequities concerning work and family, including the gender pay gap, the child care crisis, and the disproportionate role of women—particularly, women of color— in providing essential but undervalued care work.
Friday, September 11, 2020
From Psychology Today:
A Gallop Poll published August 25 (2020) revealed that 10% of American families with children of school age are intending to homeschool their children this year. That’s a huge increase, up from 5% just one year ago. The poll was very clear not to confound homeschooling with online learning at home controlled by a public or private school. The question included the statement, “By ‘homeschool’ we mean not enrolled in a formal school but taught at home.”
The poll may even underestimate the number who will eventually opt for homeschooling this year. Many families say they are taking a “wait and see” approach. They’ll see what happens when schools open this fall (many are opening later than usual) and then opt for homeschooling if they don’t like what they see. Jim Mason, Vice President of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said that “the phones are ringing off the hook” as record numbers of people are inquiring about homeschooling. Likewise, the National Home School Association reported receiving 3400 requests for information in a single day this summer, in contrast to the typical 5 to 20 inquiries per day prior to the pandemic.
Read more here.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
From Yahoo! Finance:
The global surrogacy market generated $112.80 million in 2015 and is projected to reach $201.40 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2016 to 2025.
The global surrogacy market is segmented on the basis of type, technology, end user, and region. By type, it is divided into gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. By technology, it is segmented into IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), IVF without ICSI, and intrauterine insemination (IUI). Region wise, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
The key players operating in the global surrogacy market include New Hope Fertility Center, IVI RMA Global, Clinic Scanfert, Bourn Hall Fertility Clinic, NOVA IVI Fertility, Houston Fertility Center, Ovation Fertility, Extraordinary Conceptions, Care Fertility Group, Growing Generations LLC.
Read more here.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
The woman best known for popularizing gender reveal parties has a message for the world: Please stop.
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Nevada will vote this November on whether to repeal a same-sex marriage ban from the state's constitution.
It's the first statewide vote on such a ban in the five years since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the marriages nationwide.
Though the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, 30 states still have the bans in their constitutions.
Read more here.
Sunday, September 6, 2020
The number of American young adults living with their parents is at or near an all-time high, and the coronavirus pandemic is likely the reason, according to a new analysis.
Saturday, September 5, 2020
From CNN, a video of Dolly Parton's marriage advice is here.
From Michelle Obama, People summarizes the advice:
Although every long-term relationship is filled with challenges, both Obama, 56, and O’Brien, 57, spoke about how previous generations have not always been so open about the realities of making a marriage work.
“Young couples, they face these challenges and they’re ready to give up because they think they’re broken,” she explained.
“And I just want to say, look, if that breaks a marriage, then Barack and I have been broken off and on, throughout our marriage, but we have a very strong marriage. And if I had given up on it, if I had walked away from it, in those tough times, then I would’ve missed all the beauty that was there as well," the mother of two remarked.
As for some of the qualities that are most important when it comes to finding someone you can spend a life with, Mrs. Obama likened choosing a partner to “picking your basketball team.”
“We’d have better marriages,” she remarked. “If you’re looking at a team, the people you want to win with, then number one, you want everybody on your team to be strong, right? You don’t want any weak links, you don’t want somebody that you can dominate.”
Read more here.
Friday, September 4, 2020
The link to the survey is:
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Family Court Review
Call for Papers – Special Issue
Family Law Disruption and Response during the Covid-19 Pandemic:
Viral Lessons for Research, Policy, and Practice
Family law systems were already overwhelmed when the Covid-19 pandemic erupted. Through varied policy and public health responses, the family law system, alongside families served, have had to adjust to emergency orders not only in response to health but also economic disruption. This has brought risk and opportunity as professionals adjust services, address new sources of parental conflict over interplays of work, children, and quarantine, and are forced to experiment in real time without past precedent as a guide.
In this issue, we take stock of lessons learned in what can be done in a crisis, how to best help “pivot” when traditional, “analog” service delivery is interrupted, what necessary innovations might come new best practices, and what experiments failed. We also want to better understand the needs and perspectives of parents as they variably accessed (and demanded) family court and other services.
The following topics are suggestions for submission.
- How family courts and/or professionals have “pivoted” in their work. For example, what has been the impact of virtual court investigations and hearings on gathering evidence, ensuring procedural justice and/or ensuring trust in the legal system?
- What new challenges have arisen in family law cases filed due to Covid-19? For example, what health risks have been raised in the course of co-parenting, and what standards have been used to evaluate child abuse and neglect? How is family reunification impacted through social distancing policies?
- How have families adjusted (well and not so well in effect), and created their “new normal” in balancing work, family, and schooling. For example, what has been the impact of virtual visits on parent-child relationships?
- How has child support been impacted by economic recession and widespread layoffs?
To submit a paper proposal, please email a 250-500-word abstract with the subject heading FCR Special Covid-19 Issue. Submit your abstract by email to Associate Professor, Alexandra Crampton; email@example.com by September 28th 2020.
We will notify presenters about selected papers by late October. Working drafts of papers will be due no later than April, 2021, and final papers will be due by October 2021.
We look forward to your submissions. If you have further questions, please contact the guest editors:
Alexandra Crampton; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy G. Applegate: email@example.com
Barbara Glesner Fines: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Exciting new work (in the form of a podcast) from Dov Fox (San Diego):
Donor 9623 unravels the complex forces and competing agendas behind a massive reproductive hoax—one that blows the cover off a billion-dollar industry that creates hundreds of thousands of babies a year. And winds up in a legal battle over the value of life and limits of control.
It’s about scores of parents who chose the same remarkable man to be their kids' biological father. He was a gifted athlete and music prodigy. With movie star looks, a genius IQ, and perfect health. Except it was all a lie.
Donor 9623 is now the #1 podcast on Audible. Critical reviews out this week include The Atlantic.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Margaret Ryznar (IU McKinney) has recently posted to SSRN Giving an Online Exam. Here is the abstract:
Invaluable guidance has emerged on online teaching during the time of coronavirus, but less so on online final exams. This Article fills this void by offering various methods to maintain the integrity of final exams administered online.
Monday, August 31, 2020
33rd Annual Domenick L. Gabrielli
National Family Law Moot Court Competition
February 26 – 27, 2021
The Gabrielli National Family Law Competition is held each year at Albany Law School focusing on current issues in the field of family law. Last year’s problem addressed: (1) whether the changed circumstance rule should apply where the present custody arrangement was entered into pursuant to stipulation of the parties, without an adversarial hearing; and if the rule does apply (2) whether petitioner sufficiently demonstrated a material change in circumstance, where one parent is having the very young child treated with antidepressants, which may be potentially harmful to this child’s health.
Our final round panel of judges traditionally include state and federal judges, as well as, distinguished professors and practitioners in the area of family law.
11/05/2020 Registration/Postmark Deadline
12/01/2020 Problem released (online)
01/12/2021 Briefs Postmarked
02/26/2021 Preliminary Rounds
02/27/2021 Octofinal, Quarterfinal, Semifinal & Final Rounds
Costs: The registration fee is $300 per team and a law school may register up to two teams consisting of either two or three competitors; payment by check or credit card is accepted.
Awards: The competitors and coaches will receive a t-shirt for participating in the event. All participants are invited to attend a formal dinner where awards will be announced for the teams who display excellence in oral advocacy, brief writing and overall team performance.
To learn more about this event, please visit http://www.albanylaw.edu/mootcourt/intraschool/family-law-competition
To register for this event please click here http://www.albanylaw.edu/mootcourt/intraschool/family-law-competition/registration
Please contact the 2021 Competition Chair, Jenni E. Barra at email@example.com with any questions.
Thursday, August 27, 2020
Jones: "Title IX's Substantive Equity Mandate for Transgender Persons in American Law Schools: A Call to Disaggregate SOGI Data"
Joshua Aaron Jones (IU McKinney) has posted to SSRN his new article Title IX's Substantive Equity Mandate for Transgender Persons in American Law Schools: A Call to Disaggregate SOGI Data, 44.3 NYU R. L. Soc. Change 399 (Summer 2020). Here is the abstract:
SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) data has been routinely studied by federal agencies for several years, including disaggregation of such data. For example, the LGBTQIA umbrella is more specifically analyzed per each of those letters in crime and health surveys. Law schools, despite tremendous gains to provide formal equity for women, pursuant to Title IX, still strive to reach full substantive equity for those women.
Title IX's substantive equity mandate includes transgender persons. Yet, without an on-point ABA Standard or statutory mandate, law schools fail to parse data such that the academy can know how many transgender students or professors are among the ranks. In fact, LGBT data need not be tracked at all. However, to offer diverse students, especially transgender persons, a safe and fully inclusive environment, law schools must know how many persons are impacted by policies and procedures. Law schools should track LGTBQIA enrollment and employment data, and they should disaggregate that data to yield efficient policy development.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Hannah Haksgaard (South Dakota Law) has several new family law papers posted to SSRN:
The Homesteading Rights of Deserted Wives: A History, 99 Nebraska L. Rev. __ (forthcoming
2020). Here is the abstract:
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the federal government of the United States distributed 270 million acres of land to homesteaders. The federal land-grant legislation allowed single women, but not married women, to partake in homesteading. Existing in a “legal netherworld” between single and married, deserted wives did not have clear rights under the federal legislation, much like deserted wives did not have clear rights in American marital law. During the homesteading period, many deserted wives litigated claims in front of the Department of the Interior, arguing they had the right to homestead. This is the first article to collect and analyze the administrative decisions regarding the homesteading rights of deserted wives, offering a unique view of American marriage. After documenting the history of homesteading rights of deserted wives, this Article explores how these unique administrative decisions adopted or rejected the prevailing marital norms in America and how understanding these administrative decisions can aid in our understanding of marriage in American history.
Court-Appointment Compensation and Rural Access to Justice, 14 U St. Thomas J. of Law & Public Policy __ (forthcoming 2020) (for the Inequality of Wealth, Race, and Class, Equality
of Opportunity Symposium). Here is the abstract:
Hourly rates paid to court-appointed lawyers impact access to justice. Court-appointed lawyers provide necessary counsel in civil and criminal cases, yet hourly rates in many jurisdictions are so low that many lawyers cannot afford to take court-appointed cases. This article argues that low hourly rates cause problems: namely, appointed lawyers will be insufficient in number, inaccessible to their clients, and sometimes even ineffective. These problems are heightened in rural America where they are compounded by the geography of distance and the rural lawyer shortage. This article concludes by suggesting a number of policy solutions.
Traveling for Abortion Services and the Rural Women “We Must Not Forget,” 65 South Dakota L. Rev. 1 (2020) (reviewing ABORTION ACROSS BORDERS: TRANSNATIONAL TRAVEL AND ACCESS TO ABORTION SERVICES by Christabell Sethna & Gayle Davis (2019)). Here is the abstract:
This is a book review of "Abortion Across Borders: Transnational Travel and Access to Abortion Services" by Christabell Sethna and Gayle Davis (2019). Although "Abortion across Borders" makes many important points, there is one noticeable shortcoming: "Abortion across Borders" lacks an explicit discussion of rural women throughout most of the book. This book review draws common rural-based themes out of the essays and posits that rurality matters when discussing abortion travel. In summarizing the book, the editors make the intersectional argument that “un-even access to abortion services in local healthcare jurisdictions reinforces or exacerbates discrimination by gender, race, class, sexuality, age, and region.” I agree with that statement, but argue that the authors should have included rurality on this list. Missing from much of the book is the fact that rural women face particular barriers in accessing abortion, particularly when travel is involved.