Family Law Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

More on Daughters Causing Parental Divorce

From the Economist:

Daughters have long been linked with divorce. Several studies conducted in America since the 1980s provide strong evidence that a couple’s first-born being a girl increases the likelihood of their subsequently splitting up. At the time, the researchers involved speculated that this was an expression of “son preference”, a phenomenon which, in its most extreme form, manifests itself as the selective abortion or infanticide of female offspring.

Work published in the Economic Journal, however, debunks that particular idea. In “Daughters and Divorce”, Jan Kabatek of the University of Melbourne and David Ribar of Georgia State University, in Atlanta, confirm that having a female first-born does indeed increase the risk of that child’s parents divorcing, in both America and the Netherlands. But, unlike previous work, their study also looked at the effect of the girl’s age. It found that “daughter-divorce” risk emerges only in a first-born girl’s teenage years (see chart). Before they reach the age of 12, daughters are no more linked to couples splitting up than sons are. “If fathers were really more likely to take off because they preferred sons, surely they wouldn’t wait 13 years to do so,” reasons Dr Kabatek. Instead, he argues, the fact that the risk is so age-specific requires a different explanation, namely that parents quarrel more over the upbringing of teenage daughters than of teenage sons.

Read more here.

February 16, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 15, 2021

Singles Awareness Day

From CNN:
The number of American men and women who have never been married, are divorced or are living alone has been on an upward trend for several years, according to the US Census Bureau.
Despite the fact marriages or relationships are less common these days, being single continues to have stigma and feelings of loneliness attached, no more so than on Valentine's Day. Feelings of loneliness among singles not yet having found "the one" still abound.
However, recent research shows that some people view singlehood as a happy destination rather than a stop on the journey to marriage.
[I]f you're single, you can redefine the concept for yourself, according to Elyakim Kislev, an assistant professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: You don't have to be lonely, and you're not a failure. Being single can be an advantage instead of a source of agony, he believes.
Kislev analyzed US and European databases and conducted interviews to examine trends in singlehood and what made some singles happy — finding that for some, happiness was a choice lifestyle or something they came to accept.
Read more here.

February 15, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Women's Labor Participation Now Lowest Since 1988

From CNBC:

In January, another 275,000 women dropped out of the labor force, accounting for nearly 80% of all workers over the age 20 who left the workforce last month, according to a National Women’s Law Center analysis of the latest jobs report.

This brings the total number of women who have left the labor force since February 2020 to more than 2.3 million, and it puts women’s labor force participate rate at 57%, the lowest it’s been since 1988, according to NWLC. By comparison, nearly 1.8 million men have left the labor force during this same time period.

Many of these women, says Emily Martin, VP for education and workplace justice at NWLC, have been forced to leave the workplace due to ongoing closures of schools and day care centers. These women, she explains, are not included in the calculated unemployment rate, which is already disproportionately high for women of color.

Read more here.

February 15, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day

Image result for valentine's day free clip art

February 14, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Teleworking Parents Face Difficulties In Child Care Duties

From World Economic Forum:

Over the course of the pandemic, there has been an increase in the share of working parents who say it is difficult to handle child care responsibilities. At the same time, many working parents have experienced professional challenges while trying to balance their work and family responsibilities, according to a new analysis of a Pew Research Center survey conducted in October 2020.

Among working parents who are married or cohabiting, child care responsibilities are more challenging for those who have a spouse or partner who is also employed.

Working moms more likely than working dads to say work-family balance has gotten harder.

It is a particular challenge for teleworking parents with children under 18 at home and who have child care duties while working from home. About six-in-ten of these parents (63%) say it’s been difficult for them to get their work done without interruptions since the pandemic started. 

Read more here.

February 14, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 13, 2021

NY Repeals Anti-Loitering Law

From NPR:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Tuesday that repeals a state anti-loitering law, commonly called the "walking while trans" ban, that critics say police used to harass and arrest law-abiding trans people, in particular.

The new measure effectively takes off the books a 1976 law that sought to prohibit loitering for the purpose of prostitution. Politicians and LGBTQ advocates say the law resulted in decades of discrimination by law enforcement.

"Repealing the archaic 'walking while trans' ban is a critical step toward reforming our policing system and reducing the harassment and criminalization transgender people face simply for being themselves," Cuomo said in a statement.

Advocates for repealing the anti-loitering law said it had previously been used with a broad definition that police used to justify the arrest of someone because of the clothes they wore or where they stood on the street.

Read more here.

February 13, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

FERS Retirement: Retirement with Former Spouse

From Federal News Network:

As a federal or postal worker — either under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or especially the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) — the annuity is guaranteed for life. 

Abraham Grungold, a frequent contributor, points out that many current and former feds have been or are married. But not necessarily to the original spouse. An ex-spouse maybe entitled to a portion of their FERS retirement. Thus, checking divorce documents; specifically, divorce judgement order and stipulation settlement agreements becomes important.

To settle with the ex-spouse, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO”) settlement agreement needs to be prepared and signed by both parties. It is submitted to a judge and then it is forwarded to the Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) for processing.

Read more here.


February 13, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 12, 2021

San Antonio: Marriage for Free in February

From KSAT:

Judge Rose Speedlin Gonzalez is offering no-cost weddings in San Antonio during the month of February.

The Bexar County judge is offering couples a chance to schedule a free ceremony at the courthouse during the regular business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-ups are also welcome. There are a few stipulations though - only two guests are allowed, everyone must wear a mask and stay six feet apart.

Judge Gonzalez said that she’s happy to offer wedding ceremonies to both LGBTQIA and heterosexual couples.

Read more here.

February 12, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Is Divorce Rate Increasing or Dropping during Pandemic?

From AZBigMedia:

Surprisingly, not only in the state of Arizona, but many other states are facing a decline number of divorce rate. Although people tend to believe and reasonably predict that pandemic and quarantine should have caused more irreconcilable problems between married couples which lead to a dissolution. In fact, recent American Family Survey data found the number of divorces dropped 11% from 2019 to 2020. Of the married couples surveyed, 65% said they appreciate their spouse more. Sixty percent said it deepened their commitment to their marriage. 

Some of the key findings:

• Alaska, Maine and Iowa saw the largest decreases in divorces.

• Divorces dropped 11% nationally the first year of the pandemic

• Arizona divorce declines rank No. 8 in the nation.

• Divorces declined an average of 21.2% nationally over the last 11 years.

• Maine, Minnesota and Massachusetts have the largest increases in marriages.

Accordingly, it is a possibility that couples spend more time together and being "forced" to be closer during lockdown and pandemic can actually create a more positive and stronger marriage.

Read more here.

February 11, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Divorce and Separated Parents in Canada: Ongoing Pandemic's Influence

From LexisNexis Canada:

On Jan. 13, the Ontario government imposed a strict provincewide lockdown and stay-at-home order in response to staggering COVID-19 infection rates that had continued to climb. This latest health measure is set to last until mid-February and has been enacted pursuant to the government’s emergency authority established by the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17.

One of the main struggles separated couples will face after a lockdown is the potential shortage of income, which will adversely affect their ability so support children in daily life and child support obligation. Although courts have acknowledged the difficulties during pandemic, courts have not abandoned the expectation that parents must supply evidence of their particular financial challenges or economic hardship.

Another way that the pandemic-prompted downturn has impacted some families is by sparking a drastic upheaval in their day-to-day physical living conditions and circumstances. Additionally, since the pandemic started, Ontario courts have seen a steady stream of requests to resolve disputes between parents around the question of in-person versus online learning for their children.

Read more here.

February 10, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Serial Sperm Donors

From the New York Times:

The first child of in vitro fertilization was born in 1978, and in the decades since, sperm donation has become a thriving global business, as fertility clinics, sperm banks and private donors have sought to meet the demand of parents eager to conceive.

As an industry, however, it is poorly regulated. A patchwork of laws ostensibly addresses who can donate, where and how often, in part to avoid introducing or amplifying genetic disabilities in a population. In Germany, a sperm-clinic donor may not produce more than 15 children; in the United Kingdom the cap is 10 families of unlimited children. In the Netherlands, Dutch law prohibits donating anonymously, and nonbinding guidelines limit clinic donors to 25 children and from donating at more than one clinic in the country. In the United States there are no legal limits, only guidelines from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine: 25 children per donor in a population of 800,000.

Regulation is even more scarce internationally. There is little to stop a sperm donor from donating at clinics in countries other than his own, or at global agencies like Cryos International, the world’s biggest sperm clinic, in Denmark, which ships semen to more than 100 countries.

“There’s nothing in the U.S. or anywhere that would keep a donor from donating at more than one sperm bank,” said Wendy Kramer, a co-founder and the executive director of the Donor Sibling Registry, an organization in the United States that supports donor families. “The sperm banks claim that they ask the donor if they’ve donated anywhere else, but nobody knows if they really do.”

And few if any laws govern private donations, of the kind that Ms. van Ewijk and Mr. Meijer arranged through the internet. Through these gaps, several cases have emerged of donors who have fathered scores of children or more, and of grown children discovering, often through social media, that they have not just a handful of half siblings but dozens of them.

n 2019, the Dutch Donor Child Foundation, an advocacy group that facilitates legal and emotional support for donor-conceived people and their families and helps search for biological relatives, determined through DNA testing that Dr. Jan Karbaat, a fertility specialist who died in 2017, had secretly fathered at least 68 children, born to women who visited his clinic near Rotterdam.

At least one sperm donor in the Netherlands, known as Louis, is thought to have more than 200 offspring, many of whom are unaware of one another. Six years ago Ivo van Halen, a 36-year-old Dutch I.T. consultant, learned that he was among them. Since then, he has managed to connect directly with 42 of his half siblings.

“It’s been a shock to learn how to integrate 42 brothers and sisters into your life,” Mr. van Halen said in an interview. “There are no books on how to do that. Our group is at 70 known children already, and getting new matches every month.”

Some of his half siblings have encountered each other multiple times on Tinder, the dating app. One half brother, Jordy Willekens, who lives in The Hague, matched online with four half sisters. “Once, I swiped on a sister and she swiped right on me at the same time,” Mr. Willekens said.

The group keeps a list of potential siblings to refer to before going on a date. Mr. Willekens, who is now in a relationship, said he had been very careful when dating: “I have a very trained eye by now.”

Some sperm donors, like Dr. Karbaat, donate surreptitiously and illegally, leaving their identities and the scale of their activity to be discovered many years later by their offspring, often as a shock.

Other donors are openly profligate. Ari Nagel, a math professor in New York, donates exclusively online and directly with recipients; he has been nicknamed the “Target Donor” because he sometimes meets women in public spots, such as Target stores, to hand off his sperm. He told The New York Times that he had 76 biological children. Simon Watson, a donor in the United Kingdom who regularly updates his Facebook site with photos of his offspring, told the BBC in 2016 that he had at least 800 children around the world.

Read more here.

February 9, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 8, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination for Pregnant Women

From the New Yorker:

As the F.D.A.-approved vaccine candidates make their way from production lines to frontline workers in nursing homes, hospitals, and in other essential professions, people who are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to conceive must contend with the lack of data on how these vaccines will affect them, a developing fetus, or a breast-feeding infant. Although women of reproductive age make up a substantial share of the health-care workforce and the majority of nursing assistants and home health aides, protocols for the coronavirus-vaccine trials specifically exclude pregnant and lactating women, and often contain language requiring that participating women use contraception.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published an advisory note last December, which said currently available vaccines “should not be withheld from pregnant individuals” and “should be offered to lactating individuals.” The group based its guidance on the theoretical risks posed by the vaccines versus the known risks that covid-19 poses to pregnant people, who have been designated an increased-risk population by the C.D.C. The statement stops short of encouraging uptake of the vaccine in the pregnant population, instead encouraging pregnant individuals to be “free to make their own decision regarding COVID-19 vaccination.”

Read more here.

February 8, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Same-Sex Couples Excluded from South Korea's New Definition of Families

From Voice of America:

Faced with a looming demographic crisis, South Korea plans to expand the legal definition of family, but same-sex couples will not be included.  

South Korea bans same-sex marriage and regulations make it very difficult for unwed partners to adopt children. And there are no laws that protect sexual and gender minorities from discrimination.    

Last week, Seoul’s Ministry of Gender Equality and Family announced it will propose changes to civil and welfare regulations so that single parents and unmarried, cohabitating partners can become legal families. 

Read more here.

February 7, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Arizona Lawmakers Renew Push to Criminalize Abortions in Latest Challenge to Roe v. Wade

From PBS News Hour:

An Arizona bill proposed on the 48th anniversary of the landmark ruling is among the most direct challenges to Roe in nearly half a century: It calls for the decision to be ignored altogether.

Arizona has some of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws and has three that criminalize it completely — two would give women receiving abortions and doctors performing them up to 5 years in prison, and the third makes it a misdemeanor to advertise birth control or abortions. Right now, the legal precedent set by Roe v. Wade prevents the state from enforcing those laws.

But in the unlikely case that Roe does get overturned, Arizona is one of 24 states with laws already in the books that could immediately ban abortion entirely, according to an analysis by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Read more here.

February 6, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 5, 2021

Mexican Law Halts U.S. From Turning Back Some Migrant Families

From The New York Times:

A Mexican law has stopped the United States from rapidly turning away migrant families at one of the busiest sections of the southwestern border, forcing agents to resume releasing families into the country, according to three Biden administration officials.

[B]ecause of a law Mexico passed in November that prohibits the detention of immigrant children and families, the country has stopped accepting such families from South Texas, an area typically susceptible to illegal crossings, officials said.

“Mexico is making a decisive step to end immigration detention for children and we are encouraged by this promising development,” said Gillian Triggs, the assistant high commissioner for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Read more here.

February 5, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Symposium, Strengthened Bonds: Abolishing the Child Welfare System and Re-Envisioning Child Well-Being

Columbia Law School
Columbia Journal of Race and Law
March 25-27, 2021

Twenty years ago, in Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare, law professor Dorothy Roberts systematically dismantled any pretense that the child welfare system functions to serve the interests of children.  Through data, documentation, history, analysis, and family narratives, Professor Roberts called out the racism at the heart of a system that has destroyed hundreds of thousands of families. “If you came with no preconceptions about the purpose of the child welfare system,” she wrote, “you would have to conclude that it is an institution designed to monitor, regulate, and punish poor Black families.” Professor Roberts built on earlier analyses of child protection intervention that identified poverty as the leading reason for the state removing children from their families, and on the long legacy of early Progressive activists’ efforts to assimilate immigrant families who were a threat to “American” norms by conditioning assistance on intrusive and punitive interventions in their lives.  We mark the 20th anniversary of this groundbreaking book with a conference and two symposium issues of the Columbia Journal of Race and Law (CJRL). The symposium is co-chaired by Professors Nancy Polikoff (American University Washington College of Law) and Jane Spinak (Columbia Law School).

Since the publication of Shattered Bonds, reform efforts have, for the most part, focused on making the current child welfare system work better without fundamentally challenging its existence. This conference is an opportunity to critique this limited reform approach and consider radical change to re-imagine how society cares for and protects children while honoring their bonds to their families and communities.  The past two decades have seen abundant critiques of the American criminal legal system and its reliance on physical and financial punishment, incarceration, and isolation.  A forceful prison abolition movement envisions replacing imprisonment, policing, and surveillance with alternatives that respond effectively to harm without putting people in cages or increasing the prison industrial complex, and that instead create and support healthy, stable families and communities. Parallels exist between the criminal legal system and the child welfare system; most obviously, both trace their practices to colonization and slavery, mass immigration and displacement of native populations, and the resulting and lasting inequities that have ensued and continue to disproportionately target poor people of color and especially Black and Native American communities.

The prison abolition movement has produced a robust body of scholarship. The call for papers for this symposium conference has generated equally insightful, imaginative, and important scholarship in support of abolishing the child welfare system and creating a radically new approach to child well-being.  The presenters and authors are from multiple academic disciplines and include parents and youth affected by the child welfare and foster care systems, community members, advocates and activists.


Pre-Conference Film Screening of Dawnland

March 16, 2021 6pm EST

Join us to watch the Emmy award-winning documentary, Dawnland, about the forced removal and coerced assimilation of Native American children and the Maine-Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first truth and reconciliation commission in the U.S. to focus on issues of importance to Indigenous Peoples, followed by a Q&A with Dr. Mishy Lesser, learning director for Upstander Project, Education Fellow at Dodd Human Rights Impact at UConn, and author of the Dawnland Teacher's Guide. 


Conference Program – Evening Keynote

March 25, 2021 6pm-8pm EST

  • Welcome
    • Gillian Lester, Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
    • Jane M. Spinak, Edward Ross Aranow Clinical Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
  • Nicolás Quaid Galván, Editor-in-Chief, Columbia Journal of Race and Law


  • Introduction of Evening Program and Moderator
    • Nancy D. Polikoff, Professor Emerita of Law, American University Washington College of Law 
  • Keynote Address
    • Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law & Sociology, Raymond Pace & Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, Professor of Africana Studies, Director, Penn Program on Race, Science & Society, University of Pennsylvania
  • Responses
    • Gwendoline M. Alphonso, Associate Professor of Politics, Fairfield University, Political-Economic Roots of Coercion – Slavery, Neoliberalism, and the Racial Family Policy Logic of Child and Social Welfare
    • Laura Briggs, Professor, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Twentieth Century Black and Native Activism Against the Child Taking System: Lessons for the Present
    • DeAnna Smith, Doctoral Student, Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, How the Global Black Lives Matter Movement is Shaping Mothers’ Understandings of Child Protective Service Investigations
    • Leyda M. Garcia-Greenawalt, MSW Student; Graduate Student Researcher; President, Foster Care Alumni of America - Illinois Chapter, Guilty: How Immigrating to the United States Became a Life Sentence to Child Welfare



March 26, 2021 11am – 6pm EST – Times for individual sessions below are approximate

  • Introductions and Business and
  • Panel 1: Legal Frameworks that Perpetuate Family Regulation (11 am – 12:45 pm)
    • Angela Olivia Burton, Director of Quality Enhancement, Parent Representation New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services and Angeline Montauban, Community Activist, Delinking Child Abuse Prevention from Family Wellbeing
    • Martin Guggenheim, Fiorello LaGuardia Professor of Clinical Law and Co-Director of the Family Defense Clinic, New York University School of Law, How Racial Politics Led Directly to the Enactment of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 – the Worst Law Affecting Families Ever Enacted by Congress
    • Miriam Mack, Policy Counsel, Family Defense Practice, The Bronx Defenders, The White Supremacy Hydra: How the Family First Prevention Services Act Reifies Surveillance, Control, and Punishment in the Family Regulation System
    • Michael S Wald, Professor of Law Emeritus, Stanford Law School, Beyond CPS: Building a New System to Protect and Promote the Safety and Development of Children
    • Moderator: Jessica Dixon Weaver, Associate Professor of Law, Gerald R. Ford Senior Research Faculty Fellow, Robert G. Storey Distinguished Faculty Fellow, Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law


  • Panel 2: The Distinctive Native American Experience (1:00 – 2:15 pm)
    • Theresa Rocha Beardall, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Virginia Tech, and Frank Edwards, Assistant Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers – Newark, Abolition, Settler Colonialism, and the Persistent Threat of Indian Child Welfare
    • Addie C. Rolnick, Professor, UNLV Boyd School of Law, Disciplining and Assimilating Native Girls: A Brief History of Three Systems of Racialized and Gendered Social Control
    • Lauren van Schilfgaarde, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Tribal Legal Development Clinic Director, UCLA School of Law and Brett Shelton, Attorney, Native Americans Rights Fund, Using Peacemaking Circles to Indigenize Tribal Child Welfare
    • Moderator:
      Lisa Kelly, Bobbe and Jon Bridge Professor of Child Advocacy, Director, Children and Youth Advocacy Clinic, School of Law, University of Washington


  • Panel 3: Family Surveillance (2:30 – 4:00 pm)
    • Khadijah Abdurahman, Director of We Be Imagining, Calculating the Souls of Black Folk: Predictive Analytics in the New York City Administration of Children’s Services
    • Charlotte Baughman, LCSW., Tehra Coles, Attorney, Jennifer Feinberg, Attorney, and Hope Newton, Parent Advocate, The Center for Family Representation, The Surveillance Tentacles of the Child Welfare System
    • Victoria Copeland, D. Student, Department of Social Welfare, Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA, It’s the Only System We’ve Got: Exploring Emergency Response Decision-Making in Child Welfare
    • Tarek Ismail, Associate Professor of Law at the CUNY School of Law The Consent of the Compelled: Child Protective Agents as Law Enforcement Officers
    • Moderator, Kelley Fong, Assistant Professor, School of History and Sociology, Georgia Tech


  • Panel 4: Community Approaches to Child Well-Being and Strengthening Bonds (4:15 – 5:45 pm)
    • Kele Stewart, Professor and Associate Dean of Experiential Learning, Co-Director Children & Youth Law Clinic, University of Miami School of Law, Re-Envisioning Child Well-Being:  Untangling the Inequitable Intersections among Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice and Education.
    • Melody R. Webb, President and Founder, Mothers’ Outreach Network, Inc., Program Director, Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics, and Professorial Lecturer-in-Law, The George Washington University Law School, Taking a Multifaceted, Empowerment-Centered Approach to Entanglement in the Foster Care System That Focuses on Building Power to Tackle African-American Family Poverty
    • Caitlyn Garcia, Attorney, Brooklyn Defender Services and Cynthia Godsoe, Professor, Brooklyn Law School, Divest, Invest, and Mutual Aid
    • Bianca Shaw, Assistant Director for Programs and Culture, Halimah Washington, Community Coordinator and Imani Worthy, Parent Leader, Centering Parents in Child Welfare Abolition - Reflection and Learning from RISE on How to Build, Center and Mobilize Impacted Parents
    • Moderator, Tricia Stephens, LCSW-R, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, CUNY Mellon-Inaugural Fellow, Hunter College - Silberman School of Social Work



March 27, 2021 11am – 6pm EST – Times for individual sessions below are approximate

  • Introduction and Business;
    • Slam Poem, Demontea Thompson, M.Ed., Ph.D. Student, Urban Schooling, Graduate Student Researcher, UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families, Black Bags;


  • Panel 1: An Abolitionist Approach to Reimagine Child Welfare (11:00 am – 12:45 pm)
    • Ashley Albert, Tiheba Bain, Elizabeth Brico, Bishop Marcia Dinkins, Kelis Houston, Joyce McMillan, Vonya Quarles, Lisa Sangoi, Erin Miles Cloud and Adina Marx-Arpadi, Impacted Mothers, Community Organizers, People of Faith, and Allied Advocates, Ending the Family Death Penalty; Building a World We Deserve
    • Josh Gupta-Kagan, Professor, University of South Carolina School of Law, Brianna Harvey, MSW, PhD student, UCLA School of Education, Urban Schooling Division, Program Director Bruin Guardian Scholars Program, Christopher E. Church, Judicial Consultant, Fostering Court Improvement, Reimagining Schools’ Role Outside the Family Regulation System
    • Clara Presler, Supervising Attorney, Family Defense Practice, The Bronx Defenders, Mutual Deference Between Hospitals and Courts: How Mandated Reporting from Medical Providers Harms Families
    • Ashley Albert, Parent Partner/Birth Parent Advocate and Amy Mulzer, Senior Attorney for Law and Appeals, Brooklyn Defender Services, Family Defense Practice, Adoption Cannot Be Reformed
    • Moderator, Ann Shalleck, Professor of Law and Carrington Shields Scholar, American University, Washington College of Law
  • Panel 2: Looking Through Client Lenses: Youth of Color, LGBT Parents and Youth, Disabled Parents (1:00 – 2:15 pm)
    • Kara Finck, Practice Professor of Law, Director of Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic, Marcia Hopkins, MSW, Senior Manager, Youth Advocacy Program & Policy, Juvenile Law Center, and former foster youth (TBA), Families Matter: Constructing an Anti-Racist System from the Perspective of Youth Advocates and Interdisciplinary Collaboration
    • Courtney G. Joslin, Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law and Catherine Sakimura, Deputy Director & Family Law Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Fractured Families: LGBTQ Families of Color and the Child Welfare System
    • Frunel (pseudonym of parent author) and Sarah Lorr, Assistant Professor of Clinical Law & Co-Director of the Disability and Civil Rights Clinic, Brooklyn Law School, Lived Experience and Disability Justice in the Foster System
    • Moderator, Sacha M. Coupet, Morris I. Leibman Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
    • Panel 3: Family Defense Lawyering (2:30 – 3:45 pm)
    • Zainab Akbar, Managing Attorney, Family Defense Practice, NDS Harlem and Michelle Burrell, Queens Project Director, Legal Services NYC, A Seat at the Table: An Interrogation of the Values and Practices of White-led Parent Defense Organizations
    • Carla Laroche, Clinical Professor, Florida State University College of Law, When the New Jim Crow and Jane Crow Intersect: Analyzing Right to Counsel Limitations in the Dependency System for Mothers Who Are Incarcerated
    • Jessica López-Espino, PhD Candidate – Anthropology, NYU, Doctoral Fellow in Law and Inequality - American Bar Foundation, “Minimally Fit” Parenting is not “Good” Parenting: Challenging Beliefs About Parental Care in Child Welfare Cases
    • Moderator, Charisa Kiyô Smith, Associate Professor, CUNY School of Law
  • Panel 4: From Reform to Abolition: Learning from Experience (4:00 – 5:30 pm)
    • Anna Arons, Acting Assistant Professor, Lawyering Program, NYU School of Law, An Unintended Abolition: Family Regulation During the Covid-19 Crisis
    • Bill Bettencourt, Senior Fellow and Kristen Weber, Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Justice, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Different year, different jurisdiction, but the same findings: Reforming isn’t enough
    • Melissa Carter, Clinical Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Barton Child Law &Policy Center, Emory University School of Law, Christopher E. Church, Senior Director, Casey Family Programs, and Vivek S. Sankaran, Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Child Advocacy Law Clinic and Child Welfare Appellate Clinic, University of Michigan Law School, The Beginning of the End: How Judicial Discipline Nearly Eliminated Foster Care in New Orleans
    • Matthew I. Fraidin, Professor of Law, University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law and Shanta Trivedi, Clinical Teaching Fellow, Domestic Violence Clinic, Georgetown University Law Center, A Role for Communities in Reasonable Efforts to Prevent Removal
    • Moderator, Nancy E. Dowd, University of Florida Distinguished Professor, David H. Levin Chair in Family Law, Fredric G. Levin College of Law, University of Florida

February 4, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

New on Netflix: Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce)

In this show from Korea, according to Netflix, "Everything comes unraveling for three successful women who work on a radio show as twists, turns and troubles plague their seemingly happy marriages."

See more here.

February 3, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

France Tightening Incest Laws

From Reuters:

France will tighten its laws on incest, President Emmanuel Macron said in a series of tweets on Saturday, after publication of a book accusing a top French political commentator of abusing his stepson sparked outrage across the country.

Macron said on his Twitter account that France needs to adapt its laws to better protect children from sexual violence and he had asked the justice minister to chair a consultation aimed at quickly making legislative proposals.

“We will go after the aggressors,” Macron said.

Macron said France had already increased the statute of limitations on incest to 30 years, counted from the legal age of majority of the victim, and had tightened controls on people working with children, but he said much more needed to be done.

He said that as part of current routine medical examinations for children, France would introduce sessions about incest in primary and secondary schools in order to give children a chance to talk about the issue.

He also said that better psychological help for victims of incest would be made available and it would be reimbursed by social security.

Read more here.

February 2, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 1, 2021

On Men Doing Less Chores

From the Atlantic:

The experts I consulted weren’t aware of any research on messiness among children, but they noted that this sex-based gap in chore-doing appears in childhood. One study found that it had already emerged in boys and girls at age 8. And an analysis from the Pew Research Center indicates that during the school year, girls ages 15 to 17 average about 4.4 hours of housework a week, compared with 2.8 hours for boys. “This is despite the fact that boys and girls tend to have similar time constraints, which is very different than later on, in marriage, in which men tend to devote more time to paid work,” Yavorsky told me.

These patterns form as children are internalizing American gender norms. Girls, Yavorsky said, are generally encouraged to “practice neatness [and] take pride in one’s appearance, whether that’s their bodily appearance or their own home,” whereas boys are typically steered more toward “being carefree, rough and tumble—having ‘more important’ things to care about besides neatness.” For both boys and girls, straying from these norms can incur social penalties.

From the earliest phase of parenthood, some people plot to interrupt these patterns. Samantha Allonce, a 36-year-old chef in New York City, told me that she doesn’t want her six-month-old son to grow up to be another messy man. “Whomever he lives with, he should still be able to clean his home and take care of it so that no matter who he becomes or who enters his life, that’s not something that they’re required to do for him,” she told me.

A couple of trends bode well for her effort. The first is that kids’ housework patterns seem to be shaped by their parents’, on some level. Often, this means that girls spend more time cooking and doing housework with their moms, and boys spend more time on home improvement and leisure activities with their dads, but parents could put in extra effort not to fall into those patterns. Additionally, boys with a working mother tend to grow up to do more chores as adults. The second is that although disparities in housework tend to arise in childhood, that doesn’t mean they’re set for life. Research indicates that the time women spend doing housework tends to go down the more they contribute to their household’s income and that the time men spend doing housework in dual-income households tends to go up when they work remotely (or at least, it did according to data from before the pandemic).

Read more here.

February 1, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 31, 2021

India: Child's Custody Issue

From Tribune News Service:

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that a minor under five years of age may not be residing with mother, but custody will be deemed to be at the place where she is putting up and the matter will be heard there. The controversy was whether the family court at Panipat had territorial jurisdiction to entertain a petition instituted by a mother to seek her daughter’s custody.

The father’s claim was that the minor’s custody was with him and the family court where the minor child “ordinarily” resided would have territorial jurisdiction. In this case, the child was in her father’s physical custody at Jagadhri. Referring to Section 6, Justice Monga asserted that there was a legal presumption with regard to natural guardianship vis-a-vis a “minor’s person” and “minor’s property” in case of a child less than five years of age and both were in favor of the mother. Along with view from the Bench, the court states that a female child below five will naturally lie with mother and therefore, custody will be with mother even if actual custody is with the father.

Justice Monga observed that the respondent-mother, at the time of instituting proceedings in the family court, was the deemed natural guardian of the minor and therefore, natural custody would be presumed to be with the mother, regardless of the place where the child was actually residing physically at that time. Justice Monga also considered the welfare and convenience of the child.

Read more here.

January 31, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)