Family Law Prof Blog

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

Baby Selling from MD


(Rockville, MD)  --  A Rockville, Maryland lawyer pleads guilty in California to wire fraud in a baby-selling ring.

Federal prosecutors say Hilary Neiman of the National Adoption and Surrogacy Center sent women to Ukraine to be implanted with embryos, then charged would-be parents more than 100-thousand dollars, saying a previous arrangement fell apart.

Read more here.


September 12, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Remembrance


September 11, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hectic Family Lifestyles Impact Women

From Mail Online:

It's official - women spend most of their time lying awake at night because of financial worries, while men are kept awake by... 'nothing.'

In a new survey, women were asked what keeps them up at night - and the number one answer, from 30 per cent of the women, was financial worries.

35 per cent of men, however, said 'nothing.'

The study looked at the habits of 1000 average wage-earning women and men in the U.S.

The second most common reason for women lying awake at night, at 18 per cent, was put down to 'to-do lists' and work stress.

Read more here.



September 10, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Divorce E-mails Inspires Show


Since they met at that competition in Rumson and subsequently began working together in 1979, playwright-actors Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore have co-written and starred in "Love, Sex and the I.R.S." -- and a whopping 22 other plays that are frequently performed across the United States and beyond. They've co-scripted and acted in movies, and they've served as producers and writers on "Yes, Dear" and "The Hughleys," among other well-known TV shows.

The Jersey natives can now be seen performing their hit off-Broadway play "You've Got Hate Mail" on Friday nights at the Upper West Side's Triad theater.

The show -- a cutting, comic play inspired by A.R. Gurney's "Love Letters" and told entirely through e-mails -- centers on a cheating husband (Van Zandt) who accidentally sends a self-incriminating missive to his wife (Milmore).

"During my divorce, there were some e-mails that Billy once said, 'You should save these. They're funny,' " Milmore says of the show's unlikely genesis.

Read more here.



September 9, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

When Genetics Are Unknown

From the New York Times:

As more women choose to have babies on their own, and the number of children born through artificial insemination increases, outsize groups of donor siblings are starting to appear. While Ms. Daily’s group is among the largest, many others comprising 50 or more half siblings are cropping up on Web sites and in chat groups, where sperm donors are tagged with unique identifying numbers.

Now, there is growing concern among parents, donors and medical experts about potential negative consequences of having so many children fathered by the same donors, including the possibility that genes for rare diseases could be spread more widely through the population. Some experts are even calling attention to the increased odds of accidental incest between half sisters and half brothers, who often live close to one another.

“My daughter knows her donor’s number for this very reason,” said the mother of a teenager conceived via sperm donation in California who asked that her name be withheld to protect her daughter’s privacy. “She’s been in school with numerous kids who were born through donors. She’s had crushes on boys who are donor children. It’s become part of sex education” for her.

Read more here.


September 8, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cohabitation Worse than Divorce

From the Washington Times:

Cohabiting is an emerging threat to the health of children and society, two new research reports say.

In the latter half of the 20th century, “divorce posed the biggest threat to marriage in the United States,” sociology professor W. Bradford Wilcox and 17 other scholars said in a report released this week by the Institute for American Values’ Center for Marriage and Families and the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia.

That is no longer the case, they said.

“Today, the rise of cohabiting households with children is the largest unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of children’s family lives,” the scholars said in “Why Marriage Matters, Third Edition: Thirty Conclusions From the Social Sciences.”

Read more here.


September 7, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Work-Life Balance

From the New York Times:

A few pages from the end of a 64-page legal decision dismissing claims that Bloomberg L.P. had engaged in a pattern of discrimination against new mothers and mothers-to-be, Judge Loretta A. Preska set aside the legalese to offer some blunt remarks on a topic dear to the hearts of many working parents (and those who choose not to be).

“The law does not mandate ‘work-life balance,’ ” she wrote, in a decision issued on Wednesday. “In a company like Bloomberg, which explicitly makes all-out dedication its expectation, making a decision that preferences family over work comes with consequences.”

With those words and others like them, including a quotation from the former General Electric chief executive Jack Welch — “there are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences” — Judge Preska, of United States District Court in Manhattan, rekindled a debate about how far companies should go in accommodating mothers in the workplace.

Read more here.


September 6, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dinner: "The Costs of Reproduction: History and the Construction of Sex Equality"

Deborah Dinner (Wash. Univ. St. Louis School of Law) has posted "The Costs of Reproduction:  History and the Construction of Sex Equality" (46 Harv. Civ. Rts.-Civ. Lib. L. Rev. (2011)) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Today, legal and political actors argue that sex equality does not require society to share the costs of pregnancy, childbirth, and childrearing with individual women and private families. Courts interpret the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (“PDA”), amending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to prohibit only market-irrational discriminatory animus. Political pundits oppose paid parental-leave legislation as a mandate that unfairly subsidizes private reproductive choice by shifting its costs onto the larger public.

This Article uses novel historical research to deconstruct the boundaries between cost sharing and sex equality. I recover the redistributive dimensions of the vision for sex equality that legal feminists articulated from the 1960s through the 1980s. Legal feminists’ challenge to the family-wage system entailed efforts to redistribute the costs of reproduction between women and men within the home and between the family and society. The history of feminist mobilization, anti-feminist counter-mobilization, and norm evolution in law and policy, illustrates the overlap in the normative purpose and cost effects of antidiscrimination and cost-sharing mandates. To realize women’s right to social and economic independence, feminists pursued classic antidiscrimination mandates, the accommodation of pregnancy in the workplace, and affirmative social-welfare entitlements related to caregiving. All of these reforms, moreover, shifted the costs of reproduction from individual women to the larger society.

The history related in this Article holds significant implications for contemporary legal and political debates. The history suggests that courts adopt an artificially narrow perspective when they interpret the PDA to fall short of requiring structural change in the workplace. It also suggests that Congress might build upon an evolving commitment to cost sharing as a critical component of sex equality by augmenting the entitlements created by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”).


September 5, 2011 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Genetics & Job Dissatisfaction

From the ABA Journal:

Dissatisfaction with your work may not be the result of lousy job conditions. It could be genetic.

That’s the conclusion a new study of 1,772 people published in the Journal of Applied Psychology (sub. req.), according to the Wall Street Journal blog the Juggle. The study found that people with the dopamine receptor gene tend to be less satisfied with their jobs, and people with the serotonin transporter gene tend to be more satisfied.

Read more here.


September 5, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sanders: "The Constitutional Right to (Keep Your) Same-sex Marriage: Why the Due Process Clause Protects Marriages That Cross State Lines, Even if Conflict of Laws Cannot"

Steve Sanders has posted "The Constitutional Right to (Keep Your) Same-sex Marriage:  Why the Due Process Clause Protects Marriages That Cross State Lines, Even if Conflict of Laws Cannot" on SSRN.  Here is the abstract: 

Same-sex marriage is legal in six states, and nearly 50,000 same-sex couples have already married. Yet 43 states have adopted statutes or constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage (typically called mini defense of marriage acts, or “mini-DOMAs”), and the vast majority of these measures not only forbid the creation of same-sex marriages, they also purport to void or deny recognition to the perfectly valid same-sex marriages of couples who migrate from states where such marriages are legal. These non-recognition laws effectively transform the marital parties into complete legal strangers to each other, with none of the customary rights or incidents of marriage. 

In this paper I argue that an individual who legally marries in her state of domicile, then migrates to another state, has a significant liberty interest under the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause in the ongoing existence of her marriage. This liberty interest creates a right of marriage recognition that prevents a mini-DOMA state from effectively divorcing her by operation of law. This right to marriage recognition is conceptually and doctrinally distinguishable from the constitutional “right to marry.” It is a neutral principle, grounded in core Due Process Clause values: protection of reasonable expectations and of marital and family privacy; respect for established legal and social practices; and rejection of the idea that a state can sever a legal family relationship merely by operation of law. A mini-DOMA state will, of course, have interests to be considered in refusing to recognize certain marriages. But under the intermediate form of scrutiny I explain is appropriate, those interests do not rise to a sufficiently important level to justify the nullification of a migratory same-sex marriage.


September 4, 2011 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Maternity Leave When Surrogate Used

From ABC News:

In a case that mixes reproductive technology, family law and employment law, a woman who used a surrogate to give birth to her twins is suing her employer and a senior human resources analyst in a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts for refusing to grant her paid maternity leave.

Kara Krill, a clinical business manager on New York's Long Island, has claimed breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, discrimination on the basis of her disability and gender, and negligent misrepresentation on the part of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Lexington, Mass. She seeks an injunction and compensatory and punitive damages for employment law violations.

Read more here.



September 3, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Guest Post by T.K. Chang: Divorce Law Uproar in China

There has been a huge uproar recently in the Chinese blogosphere and press over a recent court decision on divorce law. The Chinese Supreme Court had decided on August 12 that real estate that is registered in the name of one spouse remains that spouse’s property after divorce.  The Chinese real estate market has been booming in recent years, and the decision of course immediately caused many Chinese couples to transfer real estate registered in the name of one spouse to joint ownership. But all were shocked to discover that the transfer was slapped with hefty real estate transfer taxes based on the value of property transferred.  In order to placate the raging controversy, the Chinese Tax Bureau announced today that starting Sept. 1, all such transfers of real estate from one spouse to joint ownership would be tax-free.
T.K. Chang
Ivy Law Group LLC
(914) 439-6810
The Ivy Law Group, based in New York and Beijing, provides advice on Chinese law.  T.K. Chang is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has practiced law for 27 years in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York.

September 2, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)