26 research outputs found

    Neither Dyad Nor Triad: Children\u27s Relationship Interests Within Kinship Caregiving Families

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    Utilizing a research design lens as a platform for exploring children\u27s relationship rights, this Essay examines first, the limitations of a rights-based framework and second, insufficient participation by children in decision-making regarding their access to and interest in relationships with significant others. This Essay posits that neither the dyadic rights-based framework in domestic relations nor the, ostensibly, triadic one in child welfare serve the interests of children, since children\u27s rights are invariably subordinated to those of adults and the state. In place of a rights-based approach, this Essay endorses an interests-based model more attuned to the holistic aim of child well-being. Acknowledging that even if an interest-based approach were to grow in favor this Essay highlights the limitations of its implementation since the proverbial best interests of the child remains too attenuated as a critical decision-making factor due to currently limited mechanisms of children\u27s participation. This Essay argues that these limitations are particularly harmful to the development of a meaningful discourse on children\u27s relationship rights

    Valuing All Identities Beyond the Schoolhouse Gate: The Case for Inclusivity as a Civic Virtue in K-12

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    Increasing social and political polarization in our society continues to exact a heavy toll marked by, among other social ills, a rise in uncivility, an increase in reported hate crimes, and a more pronounced overall climate of intolerance—for viewpoints, causes, and identities alike. Intolerance, either a cause or a consequence of our fraying networks of social engagement, is rampant, hindering our ability to live up to our de facto national motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” or “Out of Many, One” and prompting calls for how best to build a cohesive civil society. Within the public school—an institution conceived primarily for the purpose of inculcating civic virtues thought necessary to foster solidarity in a pluralistic society—the intolerance has contributed to increased bias-based bullying, particularly toward transgender and gender diverse students. The devastating impacts of intolerance and exclusion on transgender and gender-diverse students include disproportionate rates of psychological distress, physical ailments, increased risk of homelessness, and other negative outcomes. As schools ponder how best to meet their needs and create safe and supportive learning environments, some parents have attempted to assert exclusive authority in this domain, challenging practices such as the adoption of gender-complex and LGBTQ-inclusive curricula as well as gender-affirming policies and practices. Parents allege that attempts by schools to accommodate transgender and gender diverse students infringe on their parental rights and the privacy rights of their cisgender children. While some schools have yielded to parental objections, others have resisted. This Article presents a compelling approach for schools both to address the challenges posed by objecting parents and to carry out their original mission of inculcating an appreciation for democratic norms—namely, civility, tolerance, and equality— through the adoption of gender complex and LGBTQ-inclusive curricula. Relying on both long-standing limitations on parents’ ability to exercise curricular control and research on the benefits of inclusive and comprehensive curricula, this Article makes the case that the educational purposes served by gender complex and LGBTQ-inclusive curricula more than justify any alleged burden on parents’ free exercise of religion as protected by the First Amendment or any alleged infringement upon parents’ substantive due process rights as protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. It posits that although both parents and the state share responsibility for shaping our youngest citizens, parental interests should be subordinate to the interests of the state in promoting proteophilic competence—an appreciation for diversity—through public education. This critical educational mission holds the promise of reaching beyond the scope of gender to include the inculcation of civic virtues essential to the health of an increasingly demographically diverse nation: Respect for “other-ness” and the development of skills needed for effective democratic self-governance

    Tributes to Family Law Scholars Who Helped Us Find Our Path

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    At some point after the virus struck, I had the idea that it would be appropriate and interesting to ask a number of experienced family law teachers to write a tribute about a more senior family law scholar whose work inspired them when they were beginning their careers. I mentioned this idea to some other long-term members of the professoriate, and they agreed that this could be a good project. So I reached out to some colleagues and asked them to participate. Many agreed to join the team. Some suggested other potential contributors, and some of these suggested faculty members also agreed to submit a tribute. The authors have written about a diverse group of distinguished scholars in the area of family law. We have included 12 scholars who have contributed substantially to the field, and they have also influenced those who have written about them here. The honored scholars and the tribute authors are as follows (organized alphabetically by the honoree): Homer H. Clark Jr. (1918-2015), by Ann Laquer Estin Cooper Davis, by Melissa MurrayPeggy Mary Ann Glendon, by June Carbone Herma Hill Kay (1934-2017), by Barbara A. Atwood Robert Levy, by Paul M. Kurtz Marygold (Margo) Shire Melli (1926-2018), by J. Thomas Oldham & Bruce M. Smyth Martha Minow, by Brian H. Bix Robert Mnookin, by Elizabeth S. Scott Twila Perry, by R.A. Lenhardt Dorothy E. Roberts, by Jessica Dixon Weaver Carol Sanger, by Solangel Maldonado Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, by Sacha M. Coupet Each colleague who participated in this project chose the scholar whose work he or she would celebrate. So, the list of those honored here is subjective and, to a certain extent, serendipitous. This Article is part of a Family Law Quarterly issue that also honors other pioneering contributors to the family law field. We hope to make this a continuing project and to have future opportunities to recognize the many scholars who have had a profound impact on their students – and on all of us – in addition to having an important impact on the development of the law. I trust the reader will find these tributes of interest

    Ain\u27t I a Parent?: Exclusion of Kinship Caregivers from the Debate over Expansions of Parenthood.

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    Kinship caregivers-a group disproportionately populated by persons of color, particularly black grandmothers -have historically assumed parental roles, often together with a legal parent. Yet even as kin have increasingly assumed substantial parental responsibilities over the past few decades, they continue to have limited opportunities to carry the title of legal parent. At the same time, in claims involving stepfamilies and same sex partners of parents, and cases involving assisted reproductive technology (ART), family courts have expanded their definition of parenthood to recognize the rights of other caregivers, including those whose parental claims extend beyond the so-called rule of two. 2 The common element that these groups share is a conjugal tie with the legal parent. The differential treatment of kinship caregivers demonstrates that the concept of parenthood remains inextricably intertwined with the concept of conjugality -whether through legal marriage, quasi-marriage, or the mere capacity to marry or engage in prescribed mating. By privileging conjugal ties, the current framing of the parenthood debate excludes non-conjugal actors, most notably relative or kinship caregivers, from consideration as legal co-parents and from the accompanying discourse around multiple parentage. This article explores parental claims both within and outside of the scope of conjugality. In doing so, it reveals that, while the discourse on expanded notions of parenthood remains marriage-centered, the underlying rationales for extending parental assignment within conjugal relationships apply with equal force to non-conjugal kinship caregiving. Ultimately, it aims to enlarge the space within the community of legitimate parents to include kinship caregiver
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