Family Law Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Parental Child Abduction Cases

This article discusses the 88% rise in parental child abduction cases the Foreign Office has seen in the last ten years.  The Office has also seen a rise in the number of countries reporting these cases, leading them to consider it a worldwide issue.  They also believe understanding of the topic is alarmingly low, with research showing about a quarter of people in the UK "do not think, or are unaware, that it is a crime for a parent to take their child overseas without the consent of others with parental responsibility."  The majority of those cases taken on by the Foreign Office deal with mothers taking the child, although the general population believes fathers would be more likely to engage in this act.  The article stresses the importance of increasing public awareness about this issue.

Read more here.


January 8, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Upcoming Supreme Court Cases

This opinion piece in the Washington Post discusses the options the Supreme Court could take regarding the upcoming two cases on same sex marriage—one on California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, and the other on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which effectively denies federal benefits to legally same-sex couples.  Advocates of same-sex marriage, floored from the four recent outcomes in favor of gay marriage during the November 2012 election, hope to see a ruling from the Supreme Court “proclaiming marriage equality to be constitutionally guaranteed under the 14th Amendment.”  However, some are worried such an outcome would produce a backlash in socially conservative states.  The remainder of the article discusses possible rulings and the outcomes these rulings would have amongst these groups.

Read more here.


January 7, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day Off

From chicagonow:

Anyone who has experienced family law, from either side of the table, knows how overwhelming life can get. I am strong enough to tell you I was a recent victim of trauma, and I took a few “Ferris” days. The outpouring of support from family and friends reminded me of the kid in the hallway of Shermer H.S. who was collecting donations to save Ferris Bueller. I picked the right movie to watch at the right time.

A colleague and friend from John Marshall liked my post about Ferris Bueller on Facebook and he gave me the idea to call clients and friends to solicit some ideas on what a Ferris Lawyer’s Day Off might be like. I really had fun receiving the e-mail responses and knowing there are plenty of people out there who sometimes need to skip school or work and take a day off to explore and have fun.

Read more here.


January 5, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 4, 2013

KS Seeks Child Support from Sperm Donor

From ABC News:

The state of Kansas is seeking child support from a man who says he signed away all parental rights when he donated sperm to a lesbian couple.

"It came out of the blue. He was absolutely floored," attorney Ben Swinnen said of his client William Marotta.

Read more here.


January 4, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Science & Family Law

From Margaret Ryznar, writing for the Huff Post Blog:

Law strives to keep up with science, and nowhere is this clearer than in the area of family law, where reproductive technologies have been evolving quickly. It's been only a few decades since the first baby was conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) in 1977, but now even more is possible than conceiving outside a human body: human genetic material may become unnecessary after Stanford researchers published a 2009 article in Nature reporting that they had determined the genes that coax human embryonic stem cells into becoming cells that form eggs and sperms.

Alternative reproductive technology has also allowed for surrogacy arrangements, whereby one woman carries another couple's fetus to term. In fact, a surrogacy industry has arisen in India -- among other fertility hotspots -- with women in India serving as surrogates.

The law has attempted to keep up with these developments, but not effortlessly. Some states enforce surrogacy agreements, others do not. Some courts have ordered sperm donors to pay child support, others have not. Just last term, the U.S. Supreme Court held that posthumous children, conceived through IVF after their father's death, are not necessarily automatically eligible for Social Security survivor benefits, which instead depend on state law.

Read more here.


January 3, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Russian Adoption Ban

From CNN:

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law on Friday a measure that bans the adoption the Russian children by U.S. families effective January 1.

The action could affect hundreds of U.S. families seeking to adopt. Americans adopted close to 1,000 Russian children last year, according to U.S. State Department figures.

Read more here.


January 2, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)