Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Fertility Clinic Mistakes

From Naomi Cahn (GW), writing for Forbes:

In 1994, Joseph and Jennifer Cartellone went to the Greater Cincinnati Institute for Reproductive Health and the Christ Hospital for help having a baby. They underwent in vitro fertilization, using Jennifer’s egg and Joseph’s sperm (or so they thought), and their daughter, Rebecca, was born later that year.

Last Christmas, Rebecca bought DNA test kits for her parents and her grandmother in order to explore their family tree. Two months later, they all learned that Rebecca was not the biological daughter of Joseph. They were shocked.

They have filed a lawsuit against their fertility clinic, and are represented by Peiffer Wolf Carr and Kane, the firm which is also pursuing litigation in other major fertility scandals.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has been an invaluable benefit, allowing millions of people throughout the world to create new families. In the United States, almost 2% of children are born each year with the help of ARTand more than 10 percent of women of childbearing age have sought infertility services. Yet as an increasing number of people use fertility services, the industry has outpaced regulation.

There are relatively few federal laws in the United States that are directly concerned with regulating assisted reproductive technology, and there is no single federal agency that is charged with oversight of the fertility industry.

Read more here.

August 10, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 9, 2019

Utah Supreme Court Asserts Gay Parents Constitutional Rights to Surrogacy

From Above the Law:

Talk about dragging your feet. Oral argument took place in the case of In Re Gestational Agreement before the Utah Supreme Court in September 2017. A time when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle weren’t even engaged yet! But hoping to avoid the dreaded two-year mark, the Utah Supreme Court finally issued its opinion in the case last week. At 75 pages, the opinion is long, but it has a good ending for hopeful LGBTQ parents.

Read more here.

August 9, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Common Law Marriage Abolished in South Carolina

From ABA Journal:

If you want to get married in South Carolina, you are going to need a valid marriage certificate.

The South Carolina Supreme Court abolished recognition of common-law marriage in a decision last week, report the Legal Profession Blog, the Post and Courier, and WYFF. The decision applies to future relationships and not to people already in common-law marriages.

Fewer than 10 states recognize common-law marriage, according to the opinion. The most recent state to abolish common-law marriage was Alabama, which adopted a law barring such marriages in 2016.

Read more here.


August 8, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Call for Papers: Roundtable on Nonmarriage and the Law

Roundtable on Nonmarriage and the Law
University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
Tucson, Arizona
February 21, 2020

Call for Papers

Abstract Submission Deadline: October 1, 2019


The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law will host the second Nonmarriage
Roundtable, a conference exploring legal issues surrounding the regulation of nonmarital
intimate relationships.

Over 19 million adults are currently cohabiting. Other adults are “living apart together”—in
committed relationships but living under separate roofs—or are in relationships marked by some
measure of intimacy or dependency. Legal and law reform responses to these relationships differ,
and scholars from various disciplines are studying different approaches to persons in nonmarital
relationships. This Roundtable will bring together scholars in law, sociology, and other related
fields, who are researching nonmarriage. Papers may address topics including the following:

• Economic rights of nonmarital partners, whether at separation or death
• The design of regulatory responses
• The relationship between marriage and nonmarital statuses
• Constitutional issues relating to nonmarriage
• Nonmarriage and parenthood
• The demography and sociology of nonmarital relationships
• Implications of legal regulation across different demographic categories, including race,
gender, class, and sexual orientation

The Roundtable will consist of approximately 4-5 panels over the course of one day. Participants
will attend the panels and will be asked to read approximately 6-8 papers. The event will
conclude with a dinner. There is no conference fee, and UA will host all of the meals on
February 21.

To apply, please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words, as well as a CV, to, by October 1, 2019. Submissions will be vetted by the
organizing committee (listed below). Selection will be based on the originality of the abstract as
well as its capacity to engage with the other papers in a collaborative dialogue.

Participants may be invited to submit a paper for publication in the Fall 2021 issue of the Family
Court Review. If you are interested in publishing a paper (5,000-10,000 words) as part of this
collection, please indicate your interest when you submit your abstract.

Participants will be notified of their selection by the beginning of November 2019. Drafts for
distribution at the Roundtable will be due on February 1, 2020.

We look forward to your submissions and participation. Questions can be directed to the
organizing committee members.

Thank you!

Albertina Antognini
Associate Professor of Law
University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law

Naomi Cahn
Harold H. Greene Professor of Law
The George Washington University Law School

Kaipo Matsumura
Associate Professor of Law
Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Amanda Miller
Associate Professor of Sociology & Department Chair
University of Indianapolis

August 7, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

New Zealand Moves to Decriminalize Abortion

From BBC News:

New Zealand's government has proposed decriminalising abortion and allowing women to choose a termination up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

Jacinda Ardern's government issued details of a bill which would change abortion laws in force since 1977.

As things stand, a woman may only obtain an abortion if two doctors certify continued pregnancy would endanger her mental or physical health.

Read more here.

August 6, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 5, 2019

Hungary Offers about $33,000 to Couples if They Have Three Children

From Lifesite News:

Hungary’s pro-family government is offering married couples a 10 million-forint (about $33,000 USD) loan that won’t have to be paid back if the couple has three children. 

The measure is part of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s plan to encourage population growth in a country with one of the lowest birth rates in Europe. So far, according to a government spokesperson, thousands of families have applied for the loans or other pro-family subsidies during the month of July. 

Read more here.

August 5, 2019 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Administration to Fast-Track Migrant Family Cases

From US News:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rosita Lopez said armed gang members demanded money from her and her partner at their small grocery store on the Guatemalan coast and threatened to kill them when they couldn't pay. When her partner was shot soon afterward, they sold everything and fled north.

Lopez was eight months pregnant when the couple arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border last year with their 1-year-old daughter. Just over a year later, an immigration judge in Los Angeles heard her case, denied her asylum and ordered her deported.

Read more here.

August 4, 2019 in Current Affairs, Resources - Civil Rights & Family Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 3, 2019

The 21st Century Family

From MercatorNet:

What is a family? Not so long ago it would have been uncontroversial to reply, “A husband and wife and their children.” This conjugal family could be diminished by the death of a member, splintered by divorce, expanded by the co-residence of other relations (a grandmother, for example), an adopted child, or other persons; but the norm of mum, dad and their kids remained almost universally acknowledged.

In the mid-20th century the American anthropologist G. P. Murdoch defined the “nuclear” family as “a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It contains adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults.” (Social Structure, 1949)

Read more here.

August 3, 2019 in Resources - Popular Culture | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 2, 2019

Cambodia Continues Jail of Surrogate Mothers


Cambodia is continuing to jail surrogate mothers. Three women were charged with human trafficking last week. After being detained in Vietnam they had been handed over to Cambodian authorities, allegedly carrying babies for foreign nationals. If convicted, they could be jailed for as long as 20 years.

One of the women has already delivered her baby.

Cambodia hastily outlawed surrogacy in 2016 after Thailand also banned it. Since then, dozens of women and some surrogacy agents have been arrested.

Read more here.

August 2, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Proposed Australian Abortion Law

From The Guardian:

The architect of a historic bill to decriminalise abortion in New South Waleshas hit out at opponents of the legislation, after a conservative MP wrongly claimed the bill would allow unrestricted abortion “until the moment of birth”.

The independent MP for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, tabled the bill on Thursday after it was delayed by a week by resistance within the Coalition government.

Read more here.

August 1, 2019 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Woman Petitions Supreme Court over Violation of 'Parental Due Process Clause Rights'

From CNBC News:

A mother in Minnesota who sued her transgender daughter for emancipating herself and then obtaining gender transition care is bringing her case to the Supreme Court, though her daughter is no longer a party to the case.

Anmarie Calgaro, represented by the conservative Thomas More Society, filed a petition on Wednesday alleging that her “parental Due Process Clause rights” were violated by St. Louis County, medical providers and the St. Louis County School District.

Read more here.

August 1, 2019 in Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0)