Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Pence Praises Rule that would Let Adoption Agencies Exclude Gay Parents

From NBC News

During an event celebrating National Adoption Month, Vice President Mike Pence praised a proposed Trump administration rulethat would allow federal funding to flow to adoption agencies that refuse to place children with LGBTQ families, among others.

"We’ve reversed the rule implemented in the closing days of the last administration that jeopardized the ability of faith-based providers to serve those in need by penalizing them for their deeply held religious beliefs," Pence said at an event Tuesday at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington. "We will stand for the freedom of religion and we will stand with faith-based organizations to support adoption."

Read more here .

November 16, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Siblings Help Healthy Eating

From CNN:

Only children may be at a higher risk for obesity than children who have siblings, according to a new study published Wednesday.

The study looked at the eating habits and body weight of only children -- called "singletons" by researchers -- and found they had less healthy eating habits and beverage choices than families with multiple children.
 
While the sample size was small and the study could not establish cause and effect, it does "raise an interesting point that we need to better understand," said pediatrician Dr. Natalie Muth, who chairs the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Obesity.
 
Read more here.

November 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Amid NY Officials' Legal Threats, Christian Adoption Agency Gets Chance for Appeal

From Catholic News Agency

New Hope Family Services, a Christian non-profit, is defending its long-standing child placement program from New York state officials who say it must shut down if it does not place children with same-sex and unmarried couples.

It is appealing a U.S. district court’s dismissal of its lawsuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has temporarily halted action against the agency until its appeal can be heard.

“Every child deserves a permanent home with loving parents,” Roger Brooks, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom legal group, said Nov. 5. “New Hope’s faith-based services do nothing to interfere with other adoption providers, but banishing it means fewer kids will find permanent homes, fewer adoptive parents will ever welcome their new child, and fewer birth parents will enjoy the exceptional support that New Hope has offered for decades.”

Read more here

November 13, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Amid NY Officials' Legal Threats, Christian Adoption Agency Gets Chance for Appeal

From Catholic News Agency

New Hope Family Services, a Christian non-profit, is defending its long-standing child placement program from New York state officials who say it must shut down if it does not place children with same-sex and unmarried couples.

It is appealing a U.S. district court’s dismissal of its lawsuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has temporarily halted action against the agency until its appeal can be heard.

“Every child deserves a permanent home with loving parents,” Roger Brooks, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom legal group, said Nov. 5. “New Hope’s faith-based services do nothing to interfere with other adoption providers, but banishing it means fewer kids will find permanent homes, fewer adoptive parents will ever welcome their new child, and fewer birth parents will enjoy the exceptional support that New Hope has offered for decades.”

Read more here

November 13, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Intergenerational Strife

From CNN:

The New Zealand parliamentarian Chlöe Swarbrick was giving a floor speech about the climate crisis. An older colleague was heckling her. She is 25 years old. What could she say to counter his age and experience and gravitas?

She did not miss a beat: "OK Boomer"... and that was enough. His authority lay dead on the floor, killed by two words that millennials (and Gen X-ers and Gen Z-ers) have used to cut down out-of-touch-oldsters -- scorn disguised as deference.
 
"OK Boomer" started on the platform Tik Tok and exploded into the meme of the moment. Turns out young people trying to launch into a gig economy with little job security on a rapidly warming planet, with far less opportunity for the wealth and creature comforts that their parents and grandparents enjoyed (A car? A house? Ha!) don't want to be lectured by Baby Boomers, the generation who put them into this kind of shape.
 
Read more here.
 

November 13, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Low-Interest Loans Proposed for Adoption Expenses

From The Blade 

When Angela Boblitt and her husband adopted a baby with Down syndrome six years ago, they found themselves $14,000 shy of the expected finances it would take to complete the process.

While Lucy is now in her “forever home” in the Boblitts’ Springfield, Ohio, household, Ms. Boblitt, executive director of the adoption agency Choosing Hope, said a proposed loan program would help future prospective adoptive parents deal with that sticker shock.

“Every day we receive emails from prospective adoptive parents inquiring on the adoption process,” she said. “Eight out of 10 times the question these hopeful adoptive parents lead with isn’t how to adopt or how the process works but rather how much it will cost.”

Read more here

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Low-Interest Loans Proposed for Adoption Expenses

From The Blade 

When Angela Boblitt and her husband adopted a baby with Down syndrome six years ago, they found themselves $14,000 shy of the expected finances it would take to complete the process.

While Lucy is now in her “forever home” in the Boblitts’ Springfield, Ohio, household, Ms. Boblitt, executive director of the adoption agency Choosing Hope, said a proposed loan program would help future prospective adoptive parents deal with that sticker shock.

“Every day we receive emails from prospective adoptive parents inquiring on the adoption process,” she said. “Eight out of 10 times the question these hopeful adoptive parents lead with isn’t how to adopt or how the process works but rather how much it will cost.”

Read more here

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sexist Credit Cards

From BBC:

A US financial regulator has opened an investigation into claims Apple's credit card offered different credit limits for men and women.

It follows complaints - including from Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak - that algorithms used to set limits might be inherently biased against women.

New York's Department of Financial Services (DFS) has contacted Goldman Sachs, which runs the Apple Card.

Any discrimination, intentional or not, "violates New York law", the DFS said.

The Bloomberg news agency reported on Saturday that tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson had complained that the Apple Card gave him 20 times the credit limit that his wife got.

In a tweet, Mr Hansson said the disparity was despite his wife having a better credit score.

Later, Mr Wozniak, who founded Apple with Steve Jobs, tweeted that the same thing happened to him and his wife despite their having no separate bank accounts or separate assets.

Read more here.

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 11, 2019

Proposed Manx Law Changes would take the Sting out of Divorce

From BBC News 

Proposals to change the criteria for no-fault divorces would mean couples could finalise the process in six months, rather than two or five years.

Launching a consultation on the changes, Daphne Caine MHK said they would "take the sting out of divorce".

The proposals, which will also apply to civil partnerships, would mean couples could apply individually or jointly for a blameless divorce.

Under the current law, which is over half a century old, the process can only be finalised in less than two years if adultery or unreasonable behaviour is cited as a reason for the breakdown of a marriage.

It also states a separation must last five years if one half of the couple objects to the divorce.

Read more here

November 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Golden Age for Singles

From CNN:

"I call it being self-partnered."

With that simple utterance, Emma Watson launched a flood of tweets, think pieces and water cooler conversations earlier this week.
 
Talking to British Vogue, the "Harry Potter" star and UN goodwill ambassador discussed her romantic life as she approached her 30th birthday.
 
"I never believed the whole 'I'm happy single' spiel," she said. "I was like, 'This is totally spiel.' It took me a long time, but I'm very happy (being single). I call it being self-partnered."
 
Gossip columnists immediately bemoaned the actress' self-coined phrase, while supporters on Twitter leapt to her defense.
 
To some, Watson's new addition to the cultural dictionary reflected nothing more than self-indulgence from a celebrity out of touch with the real world. To others, it was a rare example of a public figure breaking free from the shackles of gawkish expectations and verbalizing the realities of life and love.
 
But perhaps Watson was expressing something quite mundane -- by celebrating singlehood, experts say, she was reflecting the changing way in which millennials are moving through life.

Read more here.

November 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Australian Family Law Plan Heavily Criticized

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

Australia's peak legal body has accused the federal government of adopting a "stubborn and wrong-headed approach to family law" that will hurt children and families, in a sharp escalation of its campaign against plans to scrap the Family Court as a standalone court.

Attorney-General Christian Porter announced in August he would push ahead with a controversial pre-election plan to merge the specialist Family Court of Australia with the lower-level Federal Circuit Court, which handles some family law disputes alongside other cases including migration.

Read more here

November 10, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 9, 2019

South African Woman Attempts To Sue Husband For Coming Out As Gay

From LGBTQ Nation:

An unnamed woman in Cape Town, South Africa, tried to sue her husband for coming out as gay two months before their sixth anniversary.

She sought nine million South African Rand (roughly $600,000) for emotional pain, psychological trauma, and loss of income. But she seems to have failed… for now.

Judge Mark Sher said that the wife’s “extraordinary sum” was based on the husband allegedly “misrepresented” that he was a heterosexual man just so he could have kids in a monogamous different-sex marriage.

Immediately after coming out, the couple “no longer lived together as man and wife.”

Read more here

November 9, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 8, 2019

Taiwan Hosts First Gay Pride Parade After Legalization Of Gay Marriage

From The Guardian:

Nearly 200,000 revellers have marched through Taipei in a riot of rainbow colours and celebration as Taiwan held its first pride parade since making history in Asia by legalising gay marriage.

The island has long hosted the region’s largest pride marches but this year Taiwan’s LGBT community and its supporters had an extra reason to celebrate on Saturday.

In May, politicians took the unprecedented decision to legalise same-sex marriages, becoming the first place in Asia to do so. More than 2,000 couples have since married, many of them taking part in Saturday’s festival.

Read more here

November 8, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Viterbo: "The Pitfalls of Separating Youth in Prison"

Hedi Viterbo (Queen Mary University of London) has posted to SSRN his chapter The Pitfalls of Separating Youth in Prison: A Critique of Age-Segregated Incarceration, forthcoming in Laura Abrams and Alexandra Cox (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook on Youth Imprisonment. Here (and here) is the abstract:
 
Age-segregated incarceration – the separation of youth and adults in criminal custody – has established itself as a legal and human rights norm. Contrary to conventional wisdom, I argue that it suffers from five acute pitfalls. First, it perpetuates age essentialism – the historically recent belief that certain age groups are inherently different and must therefore abide by constrictive (and questionable) age norms. Second, age-segregated incarceration sanctions harshness and apathy toward the separated adults, whom it deems less vulnerable and less corrigible. Third, age segregation helps prison present itself as humane and effective, while also entrenching its punitive fixation with blame. Fourth, in conflating protection with age segregation, this practice harms youth: it downplays the risk they face from their peers and the prison staff, overlooks the support some imprisoned adults can offer, and occasions harmful practices such as solitary confinement. Finally, age segregation, in and beyond prison, has a long and ongoing history of suppressing disempowered communities by severing their intergenerational ties. Alternatives such as non-separate incarceration, age-specific penal reforms, or more refined segregation fail to address – and in some respects aggravate – these pitfalls. What is needed, instead, is to simultaneously undo essentialism and carcerality.

November 7, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Over 2,000 Sign Petition Opposing Ted Cruz's Comments on Texas Transgender Custody Case

From Dallas News:

More than 2,000 parents and advocates say they oppose Sen. Ted Cruz’s comments calling a Dallas mother’s support for her child’s gender transition "abuse,” according to a letter from the Human Rights Campaign to the Texas Republican.

The letter, written by the Human Rights Campaign, states that Cruz’s remarks in response to the custody case of a Dallas 7-year-old whose mother says is a transgender girl are “harmful and medically unfounded.” It was posted earlier this week and signed by 2,014 people across the U.S., including at least 276 Texans, as of Thursday evening. The letter will be available to sign until around Friday afternoon, said Nick Morrow, deputy communications director for the HRC.

“Your comments accusing parents of transgender and non-binary children of ‘child abuse’ betrays your office, your responsibilities and all sense of decency,” the letter states.

Read more here

November 7, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Overview Of States Who Passed Abortion Restrictions

From CNN:

Abortion regulations were in the news earlier this year, with highly restrictive state bans making national headlines. Republican-leaning states, emboldened by the conservative-majority Supreme Court and efforts by the Trump administration to roll back abortion protections, have pushed more extreme limitations to the procedure.

But where are those laws now?
 
The short answer: Nowhere.
 
Of the nine so-called gestational bans -- which bar abortions past a certain point in pregnancy -- passed this year, none have gone into effect after most of them have been blocked by judges. In particular, court actions have kept all of the so-called heartbeat bans -- bills outlawing abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy -- from coming into force.
 
Read more here

November 6, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

South Carolina Governor Says There's "No Constitutional Right To Abortion"

From CBS News:

There's "no constitutional right" for a woman to have an abortion, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett during this week's episode of "The Takeout" podcast. McMaster also responded to a recent federal court decision overruling his executive order that prevented Medicaid funds from being used for abortion services

"Most taxpayers in this state do not favor their money being spent on abortions," McMaster said. "We intend to take the case, follow up and go to the Supreme Court."

The South Carolina governor argued that Planned Parenthood should not be receiving federal funds.

Read more here

November 5, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 4, 2019

Falling Divorce Rates Don't Necessarily Call For Celebration

From National Review:

We don’t hear much about divorce these days, except to celebrate news that it’s trending downward. In light of the most recent American Family Survey, observers have noted that many Americans are too pessimistic about divorce, still thinking that marriages everywhere are falling apart at unprecedented levels.

Academic and cultural attention to divorce is probably at an all-time low. In the 1980s and 1990s, researchers tempered the early, optimistic notion that the divorce revolution of the 1970s would fix the problem of unhappy marriages and that divorce merely cleans up a mess and enables a fresh start. Now, however, even faith-based communities have softened their concerns about divorce, as other alarming issues, from nonmarital births to opioid addiction, threaten family stability and reframe the divorce scenario, of weekend visitation and monthly child support, as a common contingency that resolves an untenable situation.

Read more here

November 4, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 1, 2019

King: "Child Migrants and America’s Evolving Immigration Mission"

Shani M. King (University of Florida) has posted to SSRN his article Child Migrants and America’s Evolving Immigration Mission, 32 Harvard Human Rights Journal 59 (2019).  Here is the abstract:

This Article explores the many challenges—legal and otherwise—that child migrants face as they attempt to navigate the complex web of courts, laws, and shifting political landscapes to become naturalized United States citizens, while putting these challenges in the context of an immigration system that has long been shaped by politics of exclusion and xenophobia that have shaped immigration law and policy in the United States for over one-hundred years. Such an investigation comes at a time when the issue of immigration in the United States is increasingly complex and contested. As the Trump administration mulls over new prototypes for a wall along the U.S./Mexico border, issues travel bans targeting Muslim-majority countries, and threatens to end the Obama-era DACA program in a bid to realize the president’s campaign slogan of “America First,” advocates for a more liberal, humanitarian immigration system cite America’s legacy as the quintessential nation of immigrants to challenge the xenophobia and politics of exclusion that have recently informed the debate about immigration reform. Notwithstanding this cited legacy, the United States has a long history of the politics of exclusion shaping its immigration system. Thus, this Article attempts to provide additional context for this current—and historical—immigration debate, and argues that political expedience, Cold War ideology, racial prejudice, and politics of exclusion and xenophobia—as contrasted with principles of justice and equality—have long shaped how the United States fashions official immigration law and policy.

November 1, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Scarier than Halloween: Polish Government Legalizes Involuntary 'Donation' of Embryos

From Above the Law 

The right to use assisted reproductive technology to conceive a child is severely limited in much of the world, including most of Europe and Asia. But despite the fact that I write about such restrictions on a weekly basis, I was shocked to read Anna Louie Sussman’s recent New Yorker piece. Sussman details just how bad the situation in Poland has become.

Sussman describes the changes in the country relating to in vitro fertilization (IVF) over the last few years, including its complex political and religious underpinnings, and the stories of a number of women negatively impacted by the new laws. Prior to 2015, there were no laws in Poland regulating IVF. As a result, fertility clinics were flourishing. In addition to married couples struggling with infertility, single women were utilizing fertility services, as well as donor sperm, to become parents.

Read more here

October 31, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)