Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween!


Spiders    Pumpkins   Tombstone


October 30, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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 30, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, 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.


October 29, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Surrogacy in New Jersey

From the New York Times:

And knowing that there are any number of ways that having a child by surrogate can end in heartache, they tried to protect against it. They had the surrogate legally renounce her right to the child, and had a judge pre-emptively order that their names appear on the birth certificate.

But for all their efforts, their case has become an object lesson in how much modern babymaking has outpaced the law, leaving even the most careful would-be parents relying on little more than crossed fingers.

On Wednesday the New Jersey Supreme Court deadlocked over how to handle the wife’s plea to be named the mother of the child that she and her husband are raising, ending a lengthy legal battle while providing little new clarity. The state had sued, successfully, to strip the wife’s name from the birth certificate. The couple argued this was discrimination: State law automatically makes an infertile husband the father if his wife uses a sperm donor, so why should the same presumption not apply to an infertile wife? An appeals court disagreed with that distinction, siding with state officials who argued adoption was the only option for a mother with no genetic connection to a child.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

October 27, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oct. 30 Events

The American Family Association is encouraging parents to keep their kids home from school on October 30, a day many schools have designated Mix It Up at Lunch Day.  The program, started 11 years ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center, encourages kids to spend time with other kids they would not normally spend time with in an effort to stamp out bullying.  The AFA feels this project is "a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools."  Maureen Costello, the director of the center's Teaching Tolerance project, calls it “a cynical, fear-mongering tactic.”  Read more here in the New York Times.


October 25, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Birth Certificates

From the Boston Globe:

It seemed like a minor adjustment. To comply with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in 2003, the state Registry of Vital Records and Statistics said it needed to revise its birth certificate forms for babies born to same-sex couples. The box for “father” would be relabeled “father or second parent,’’ reflecting the new law.

Read what happened next here.

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

October 25, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Adoption Subsidies

A new blog post at the Huffington Post, written by Adam Pertman and Georgia Deoudes, highlights the importance of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980.  The Act, which requires states to provide subsidies to parents who are forming families through adoption, help a large percentage of low-income households.  Nationally, 46% of families adopting from care “are at or below 200% of the poverty level.”

Read more here.


October 25, 2012 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Springsteen in New Campaign

From USA Today:

An Internet-based campaign aimed at passing same-sex marriage initiatives in four states is getting a little help today from Bruce Springsteen.

The rocker's picture and a quote in support of marriage equality is featured in new content by The Four 2012, a social media campaign aimed at young people who live on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The goal is to pass ballot measures in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington that are on the November ballot.

Read more here.


October 24, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Conference at Buffalo

A recent conference at University of Buffalo Law School paid "tribute to two landmark anniversaries in the fight against domestic violence: the 20th anniversary of the Law School's Women, Children and Social Justice Clinic, and the 50th anniversary of New York State Family Court."  Read about it here.


October 23, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Trade in Breast Milk

From www.france24.com:

German pediatricians have warned new parents against obtaining breast milk to feed their babies via social networking sites such as Facebook, cautioning the milk could be harmful.

The Professional Association of Pediatricians said that although mothers milk was generally the best option for a newborn, mothers unable to breastfeed should not acquire it over the Internet.

Read more here.


October 22, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, October 20, 2012


From the Washington Post:

A scholar of religion and law at Emory University in Atlanta, Witte is working on a lengthy history of polygamy due out next year. He believes that polygamy is the next frontier in marriage and family law. If states are able to dismantle traditional or conventional views of marriage by allowing two men or two women to wed, then why should they not go further and sanction, or at least decriminalize, marriages between one man and several women?

Read more here.


Hat Tip: SH

October 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 19, 2012

New Alternative Reproduction Technique

From Science:

Want baby mice? Grab a petri dish. After producing normal mouse pups last year using sperm derived from stem cells, a Kyoto University team of researchers has now accomplished the same feat using eggs created the same way. The study may eventually lead to new ways of helping infertile couples conceive.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: SH

October 19, 2012 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

2d Circuit Holds DOMA Unconstituional

From the Huffington Post:

Saying the gay population has "suffered a history of discrimination," a divided federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled Thursday that a federal law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman was unconstitutional, adding fuel to an issue expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court soon.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seemed interested in adding its voice to several other rulings already at the high court's doorstep by issuing its 2-to-1 decision only three weeks after hearing arguments on a lower court judge's findings that the 1996 law was unconstitutional.

In a majority opinion written by Judge Dennis Jacobs, the 2nd Circuit, like a federal appeals court in Boston before it, found no reason the Defense of Marriage Act could be used to deny benefits to married gay couples. It supported a lower court ruling after a woman sued the government in 2010, saying the law required her to pay $363,053 in federal estate tax after her partner of 44 years died.

Read more here, and read the 2d Circuit COA opinion here.


October 18, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NJ's Lowest Divorce Rate

From the New York Times:

According to the 2011 American Community Survey released last month by the Census Bureau, New Jersey ranks last among the states in the percentage of residents 18 and older who are divorced. Just 9 percent of New Jersey adults are divorced, compared with nearly 52 percent of whom are now married.

“The composition of New Jersey married individuals is quite favorable across several indicators, providing some evidence for the low divorce rate,” said Susan L. Brown, a sociology professor and co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. “These factors include education, race-ethnicity, age, and age at first marriage.”

On paper, at least, Ms. Giudice personifies those demographic factors that, compared with the rest of the country, make the state such a paradigm of marital durability if not necessarily bliss. She has a college degree. She was past 25 when she married. She is white. And she and her husband were apparently wealthy enough to have piled up millions of dollars in debts.

“Marriages are more likely to last for longer periods of time when people marry at an older age, have a higher education and earn more, and New Jersey scores high on these three criteria,” said Naomi Cahn, a professor at George Washington University Law School and an author of “Red Families v. Blue Families.”

Read more here.


October 17, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Indian Anti-Gender-Selection Law

From the New York Daily News:

Entire families of women who abort a female fetus could be jailed for up to seven years under an Indian government move to ease the pressure for male children.

The initiative is an attempt to halt the growing gender imbalance in India where girls are considered a financial burden and families fear the cost of paying illegal but common dowries when they marry.

Campaigners believe up to eight million unborn girls were aborted in India in the last decade, while UN figures show that female infants are twice as likely to die in India before the age of five. The number of girls born per thousand boys has declined from 976 in 1961 to 914 in 2011, according to census statistics.

Read more here.


October 17, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New B.C. Law

From the Vancouver Sun:

Veteran Vancouver family lawyer Craig Neville says he's excited over the sea change about to occur in the way B.C. families fall apart.

On March 18, the 1978 Family Relations Act will be replaced by the Family Law Act and the provincial landscape of divorce and separation will change dramatically.

Billed as bringing family law into the 21st century, the legislation was the result of five years of extensive research and consultation.

It is designed not only to trans-form how we split up, but also to address a court system bursting at the seams. It allows family matters to be resolved out-side court, where appropriate, through agreements, mediation and parenting coordination.

Read more here.


October 16, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Canadian Statistics

From the Wall Street Journal:

The typical Canadian family looks a little different than it used to, according to census data released...by Statistics Canada.

Married couples as a proportion of all Canadian families declined between 2006 and 2011, while the share of common-law couples increased. Growth in common-law couples comfortably outpaced the increase in married couples and lone-parent families. And the number of same-sex couples tripled, reflecting the first five-year period during which same-sex marriage was legal in Canada.

Read more here.


October 15, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

CA Therapy Law

From SFGate:

A groundbreaking California law banning therapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian youths has been challenged in court by Christian conservatives who say it tramples on families' rights and therapists' consciences.

The law, signed Saturday by Gov. Jerry Brown and scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, prohibits licensed therapists and counselors from engaging in "sexual orientation change efforts" with anyone under 18. Violators would be subject to discipline by state licensing boards.

Read more here.


October 13, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Notes Giving Away Babies

From the Daily Mail:

Abandoned on a door step in the dead of night, these are the desperate notes pinned to babies by poor and often unmarried mothers, pleading for someone to care for their child.

The heartbreaking letters became part of records at the New York Foundling Asylum in the mid-19th century.

In October 1869, a group of nuns renovated a brownstone at 17 East 12th Street in Manhattan into the Foundling Asylum.

Every night, the nuns would leave an empty wicker basket on the stoop, and almost every morning, a baby would be found there. By the end of the year the nuns had taken in 81 babies.

Read more and see the letters here.


October 12, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

In case you missed this...


October 11, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)