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Properly Accounting For Domestic Violence In Child Custody Cases: An Evidence-Based Analysis And Reform Proposal, Debra Pogrund Stark, Jessica M. Choplin, Sarah Elizabeth Wellard May 2019

Properly Accounting For Domestic Violence In Child Custody Cases: An Evidence-Based Analysis And Reform Proposal, Debra Pogrund Stark, Jessica M. Choplin, Sarah Elizabeth Wellard

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Promoting the best interests of children and protecting their safety and well-being in the context of a divorce or parentage case where domestic violence has been alleged has become highly politicized and highly gendered. There are claims by fathers’ rights groups that mothers often falsely accuse fathers of domestic violence to alienate the fathers from their children and to improve their financial position. They also claim that children do better when fathers are equally involved in their children’s lives, but that judges favor mothers over fathers in custody cases. As a consequence, fathers’ rights groups have engaged in a ...


Fighting The Establishment: The Need For Procedural Reform Of Our Paternity Laws, Caroline Rogus Jan 2014

Fighting The Establishment: The Need For Procedural Reform Of Our Paternity Laws, Caroline Rogus

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Every state and the District of Columbia use voluntary acknowledgments of paternity. Created pursuant to federal law, the acknowledgment is signed by the purported biological parents and establishes paternity without requiring court involvement. Intended to be a “simple civil process” to establish paternity where the parents are unmarried, the acknowledgment is used by state governments to expedite child support litigation. But federal policy and state laws governing the acknowledgments do not sufficiently protect the interests of those men who have signed acknowledgments and who subsequently discover that they lack genetic ties to the children in question. A signatory who learns ...


Surrender And Subordination: Birth Mothers And Adoption Law Reform, Elizabeth J. Samuels Jan 2013

Surrender And Subordination: Birth Mothers And Adoption Law Reform, Elizabeth J. Samuels

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

For more than thirty years, adoption law reform advocates have been seeking to restore for adult adoptees the right to access their original birth certificates, a right that was lost in all but two states between the late 1930s and 1990. The advocates have faced strong opposition and have succeeded only in recent years and only in eight states. Among the most vigorous advocates for access are birth mothers who surrendered their children during a time it was believed that adoption would relieve unmarried women of shame and restore them to a respectable life. The birth mother advocates say that ...


Against The New Maternalism, Naomi Mezey, Cornelia T. L. Pillard Jan 2012

Against The New Maternalism, Naomi Mezey, Cornelia T. L. Pillard

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Parenting is a major preoccupation in law and culture. As a result of efforts of the American women's movement over the past forty years, the legal parent is, for the first time in history, sex-neutral. Our law has abandoned restrictions on women's education, employment, and civic participation that sprang from and reinforced beliefs about the primacy of motherhood as women's best destiny. On the flip side, U.S. law now also generally rejects formal constraints on men's family roles by requiring sex-neutrality of laws regulating custody, adoption, alimony, spousal benefits, and the like. The official de-linking ...


Displaced Mothers, Absent And Unnatural Fathers: Lgbt Transracial Adoption, Kim H. Pearson Jan 2012

Displaced Mothers, Absent And Unnatural Fathers: Lgbt Transracial Adoption, Kim H. Pearson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

While some might believe that Black versus gay discourse only surfaces in highly politicized settings like the military and marriage, it holds sway in the area of LGBT transracial adoption. LGBT transracial adoptions are a relatively small percentage of all adoptions, which include private adoptions, LGBT second-parent adoptions, and step-parent adoptions, but they are an important site for interrogating the Black versus gay discourse because adoption and custody decisions often address parent-child transmission. When claims intersect, as they do in a case where a White LGBT foster parent and a Black maternal grandmother dispute the adoption of a Black child ...


Parenting And Pregnant Students: An Evaluation Of The Implementation Of The Other Title Ix, Michelle Gough Jan 2011

Parenting And Pregnant Students: An Evaluation Of The Implementation Of The Other Title Ix, Michelle Gough

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits gender discrimination. Although pregnancy has been described as the "quintessential sex difference," Title IX's prohibition of gender discrimination in the context of parenting and pregnant students has often been left out of the discussion, and therefore the understanding, of the implementation of Title IX Regulations. The scholarship discussing the topic shows general agreement that the language and spirit of Title IX has not been given effect thus far by our schools or by some courts. This Article begins by looking to the Title IX regulations themselves and then to the ...


When Sixteen Ain't So Sweet: Rethinking The Regulation Of Adolescent Sexuality, Nicole Phillis Jan 2011

When Sixteen Ain't So Sweet: Rethinking The Regulation Of Adolescent Sexuality, Nicole Phillis

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Legally speaking, sexual maturity poses a significant enough liberty interest for a minor to make medical decisions regarding contraceptive medicine or to choose motherhood without parental involvement, but not quite enough for her to obtain an abortion independently. The law incentivizes teenage motherhood by only granting decisional autonomy to those minors who choose to have a child; the minor female's right to procreate vests regardless of her individual maturity. The law discourages teenage abortions by using the choice to terminate a pregnancy to trigger a presumption of immaturity; the minor female's abortion right is pitted against personal autonomy ...


Tango Or More - From California's Lesson 9 To The Constitutionality Of A Gay-Friendly Curriculum In Public Elementary Schools, Amy Lai Jan 2011

Tango Or More - From California's Lesson 9 To The Constitutionality Of A Gay-Friendly Curriculum In Public Elementary Schools, Amy Lai

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In August 2009, a group of parents in California filed a lawsuit, Balde v. Alameda Unified School District, in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda. They alleged that the Alameda Unified School District refused them the right to excuse their children from a new curriculum, Lesson 9, that would teach public elementary school children about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) families. The proposed curriculum included short sessions about GLBT people, incorporated into more general lessons about family and health, once a year from kindergarten through fifth grade. Kindergarteners would learn the harms of teasing, while fifth graders ...


Defining Sex: On Marriage, Family, And Good Public Policy, Mark Strasser Jan 2010

Defining Sex: On Marriage, Family, And Good Public Policy, Mark Strasser

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Transgendered individuals and their families face legal risks that most families do not, at least in part, because state laws are often unclear about whether or under what conditions transgendered individuals are permitted to marry the individuals whom they love. Challenges to the validity of marriages involving the transgendered may arise under a variety of circumstances, ranging from cases in which individuals may have hidden or may not even have known that they were transgendered until after their marriages, to cases in which the individuals had already transitioned and had explained their personal histories to their partners before they were ...


Giving In To Baby Markets: Regulation Without Prohibition, Sonia M. Suter Jan 2009

Giving In To Baby Markets: Regulation Without Prohibition, Sonia M. Suter

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The commodification of reproductive material evokes different responses. Some argue that the sale of reproductive material should be prohibited. Others argue in favor of unfettered baby markets on principle or to achieve broad-scale access to reproductive technologies. In this Article, the author responds to the emergence of baby markets with great skepticism, but reluctant acceptance. Drawing on a relational conception of autonomy and self-definition, she argues that commodification of reproductive material is intrinsically harmful. Moreover, such commodification poses a number of consequential harms. Nevertheless, in spite of these concerns, the author "gives in" to baby markets, which is to say ...


Pursuing The Perfect Mother: Why America's Criminalization Of Maternal Substance Abuse Is Not The Answer- A Compartive Legal Analysis, Linda C. Fentiman Jan 2009

Pursuing The Perfect Mother: Why America's Criminalization Of Maternal Substance Abuse Is Not The Answer- A Compartive Legal Analysis, Linda C. Fentiman

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In this Article the author will examine not only the substantive legal differences between the United States, Canada, and France, but will also explore how these legal rules fit within a broader social, political, and religious setting. This Article will pursue four lines of inquiry. First, it will briefly chronicle the history of criminal prosecution of pregnant women in America and show how these prosecutions have become markedly more aggressive over the last twenty years. Second, it will situate these prosecutions in the full context of American law and culture, demonstrating how the fetus has received increasing legal recognition in ...


The Lactating Angel Or Activist? Public Breatsfeeding As Symbolic Speech, Elizabeth Hildebrand Matherne Jan 2008

The Lactating Angel Or Activist? Public Breatsfeeding As Symbolic Speech, Elizabeth Hildebrand Matherne

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The only way to combat this stigma against public breastfeeding is through the act of breastfeeding in public. The author proposes that breastfeeding is a powerful act of symbolic speech vital for discarding one of the lingering shackles of women's inequality that triggers first amendment protection. Breastfeeding in public addresses this stigma by treating two ills at once: 1) greater public exposure to the practice decreases the severity of society's reactions, and 2) the less stares and confrontation that publicly nursing mothers receive, the more likely they will be to breastfeed, whenever or wherever their baby is hungry ...


The Rights Of Putative Fathers To Their Infant Children In Contested Adoptions: Strengthening State Laws That Currently Deny Adequate Protection, Robbin Pott Gonzalez Jan 2006

The Rights Of Putative Fathers To Their Infant Children In Contested Adoptions: Strengthening State Laws That Currently Deny Adequate Protection, Robbin Pott Gonzalez

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This paper argues that states need to strengthen protection of putative fathers' rights to their infant children when the mother wishes for the child to be adopted. Part I frames the discussion around established parental rights through constitutional case law. To do this, the paper addresses both the Supreme Court's parental rights doctrine and its biology-plus doctrine, which requires unwed fathers to show that in addition to being the biological father they also have taken responsibility for their children. Part II describes common state statutes that affect putative fathers, including putative father registries, safe haven laws, and laws granting ...


Introducing The Construct Of The Jury Into Family Violence Proceedings And Family Court Jurisprudence, Melissa L. Breger Jan 2006

Introducing The Construct Of The Jury Into Family Violence Proceedings And Family Court Jurisprudence, Melissa L. Breger

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article draws upon both the theory of and research on procedural justice holding that litigants often focus on the appearance of fairness rather than on the actual outcome. Thus, when litigants are able to choose the modality of fact-finding, they may be more accepting of the legal process, even if the outcome is not favorable to them. Allowing the option of a jury, even if not exercised, may dramatically improve the perceptions of litigants and may affect the legitimacy and longevity of case outcomes.


Feminist Voices In The Debate Over Single-Sex Schooling: Finding Common Ground, Rosemary C. Salomone Jan 2004

Feminist Voices In The Debate Over Single-Sex Schooling: Finding Common Ground, Rosemary C. Salomone

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article examines the deep divide within feminist ranks with an eye toward proposing a constructive and essential role for feminist understandings as single-sex schooling inches its way toward legal acceptability and into the mainstream of educational reform. In doing so, the forces that have shaped competing perspectives on women's equality are examined, especially disagreements over sameness and difference. In the end the article looks to the Court's decision in United States v. Virginia as a road map for feminists to follow in reaching common ground on the approach, despite seemingly profound ideological differences among them.


From Presumed Fathers To Lesbian Mothers: Sex Discrimination And The Legal Construction Of Parenthood, Susan E. Dalton Jan 2003

From Presumed Fathers To Lesbian Mothers: Sex Discrimination And The Legal Construction Of Parenthood, Susan E. Dalton

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In Part I of this article, Dalton briefly reviews the way legal scholars commonly define sex-based discrimination, particularly as it pertains to issues of reproduction. Part II is a brief historical review of legal constructions of parenthood. In Part III, Dalton examines two legal concepts: retroactive legitimation and presumed fatherhood. Both concepts were introduced in 1872 and each independently encouraged judges to think of fatherhood as consisting of two distinct spheres, the biological and the social. She then traces the legal development of these concepts through a series of presumed father, retroactive legitimation, and putative father cases. In Part IV ...


An Emerging Ethical And Medical Dilemma: Should Physicians Perform Sex Assignment Surgery On Infants With Ambiguous Genitalia?, Hazel Glenn Beh, Milton Diamond Jan 2000

An Emerging Ethical And Medical Dilemma: Should Physicians Perform Sex Assignment Surgery On Infants With Ambiguous Genitalia?, Hazel Glenn Beh, Milton Diamond

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article discusses the development of a surgical approach to treating intersex infants and others with genital anomalies that began in the late 1950s and 1960s and became standard in the 1970s. Although professional literature has recently questioned the surgical approach to the treatment of infants, controversy surrounding treatment persists and the medical community now is divided. How sex reassignment surgery for intersex infants became a routine recommendation of practitioners and how parents were persuaded to consent to such radical surgeries provide a cautionary tale that is relevant to both medicine and law.


Parens Patriae And A Modest Proposal For The Twenty-First Century: Legal Philosophy And A New Look At Children's Welfare, Natalie Loder Clark Jan 2000

Parens Patriae And A Modest Proposal For The Twenty-First Century: Legal Philosophy And A New Look At Children's Welfare, Natalie Loder Clark

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This paper will turn to philosophy to seek material for limiting the exercise of parens patriae power. A significant reduction of the government's role will better serve the modern concern for child rearing which is this century's re-definition of best interests.


Minors As Medical Decision Makers: The Pretextual Reasoning Of The Court In The Abortion Cases, J. Shoshanna Ehrlich Jan 2000

Minors As Medical Decision Makers: The Pretextual Reasoning Of The Court In The Abortion Cases, J. Shoshanna Ehrlich

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

By examining the Court's failure to consider the allocation of authority between parents and children in the critical realm of medical decision making, this article exposes the irrationality of the Court's acceptance of limitations on the abortion rights of minors and reveals the pronatalist thrust of the parental involvement decisions. The article begins by looking at how the Roe Court characterized abortion as a medical decision, followed by a discussion about the medical decision-making rights of minors. Rooted in this medical paradigm, the article then turns to the parental involvement cases to examine the Court's failure to ...


"O Wind, Remind Him That I Have No Child": Infertility And Feminist Jurisprudence, Linda J. Lacey Jan 1998

"O Wind, Remind Him That I Have No Child": Infertility And Feminist Jurisprudence, Linda J. Lacey

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Feminists have constructed a "grand theory" of infertility and new reproductive techniques that has little to do with reality. Much of the discussion of reproductive technology is written in highly abstract, philosophical terms, rather than in the more experiential, narrative style which characterizes much of feminist jurisprudence. The infertile woman is generally voiceless and invisible in the telling of this story; when she does appear she is dismissed or criticized. This Article is an attempt to begin dialogue which incorporates her perspective into the discussion.


Assesing The Family And Medical Leave Act In Terms Of Gender Equality, Work/Family Balance, And The Needs Of Children, Angie K. Young Jan 1998

Assesing The Family And Medical Leave Act In Terms Of Gender Equality, Work/Family Balance, And The Needs Of Children, Angie K. Young

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

While recognizing that parental leave is only one aspect of the FMLA, this Article concentrates on the provision allowing leave to parents in order to care for their children. Before analyzing the FMLA in detail, it is helpful to explore what aims a parental-leave policy should have. The purpose of this Article is to propose and defend three goals that parental-leave legislation should strive to meet: equality of career opportunities for men and women, the right to participate in both work and family, and meeting the needs of children. After articulating what parental-leave legislation should aim for in theory, this ...


Second-Parent Adoption: Overcoming Barriers To Lesbian Family Rights, Maxwell S. Peltz Jan 1996

Second-Parent Adoption: Overcoming Barriers To Lesbian Family Rights, Maxwell S. Peltz

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this Article will discuss some of the legal difficulties associated with co-parenting and why lesbian couples have sought second-parent adoptions. Part II will examine the particular statutory obstacles to second-parent adoptions and then analyze the various ways courts in several states have overcome these obstacles. Finally, Part III will discuss the implications of these decisions in terms of their creation of legal and social norms.


Granting Political Asylum To Potential Victims Of Female Circumcision, Gregory A. Kelson Jan 1996

Granting Political Asylum To Potential Victims Of Female Circumcision, Gregory A. Kelson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this article examines two cases. In one case, a United States immigration court allowed female circumcision as a defense to deportation. In another case, the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board granted political asylum after recognizing female circumcision as a form of persecution. Part II assesses the extent of protections currently provided for potential victims of female circumcision under U.S. asylum law and analyzes the factors that a court should consider when making asylum determinations. Part III recommends that gender should be added to the enumerated grounds for persecution under U.S. asylum law. This section provides ...


China's Denial Of Tibetan Women's Right To Reproductive Freedom, Eva Herzer, Sara B. Levin Jan 1996

China's Denial Of Tibetan Women's Right To Reproductive Freedom, Eva Herzer, Sara B. Levin

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article first provides a historical account of the social and political context of the PRC's family planning policies in Tibet. Part B describes the PRC's official family policies from 1982 to the present. Part C discusses the PRC's actual practices, including its population quota controls, focusing on the forced and coerced abortions and sterilizations performed on Tibetan women. Part D applies international human rights law and concludes that the PRC's family planning policy, as implemented, violates international human rights laws. The Article concludes by recommending points of action for the PRC and international community to ...


Damned For Using Daycare: Appellate Brief Of Jennifer Ireland In Ireland V. Smith, Julie Kunce Field Jan 1996

Damned For Using Daycare: Appellate Brief Of Jennifer Ireland In Ireland V. Smith, Julie Kunce Field

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

At issue is custody of three-and-a-half-year-old Maranda (date of birth: April 22, 1991). The trial court found that Maranda had an established custodial environment with her mother, Jennifer Ireland, but then nominally ordered custody changed to Steven Smith. The court's order changing custody was based on a determination that day care is an inappropriate choice for care of a preschool child, and that no one effectively can be a single parent and a student at the same time. Those findings have no factual basis in the record, no legal basis under Michigan law, and no logical or even common ...


Can Families Be Efficient? A Feminist Appraisal, Ann Laquer Estin Jan 1996

Can Families Be Efficient? A Feminist Appraisal, Ann Laquer Estin

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article examines the convergence of feminist and law and economics theory on family law questions, particularly issues of marriage and divorce. Both feminist legal theory and law and economics analysis have come to occupy a significant place in the American legal academy, demonstrated by growing numbers of conferences, journals, casebooks and monographs, and electronic mail lists in each area. Not surprisingly, as the two fields have grown, they have begun to touch, to overlap, and occasionally to come into conflict. This process has been evident in the extensive literature on sex discrimination in employment and is increasingly apparent in ...


Prostitution Is Cruelty And Abuse To Women And Children, Susan Kay Hunter Jan 1993

Prostitution Is Cruelty And Abuse To Women And Children, Susan Kay Hunter

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Each day I rise to take up the truly good fight to stop the harm to women in prostitution. I long for complete liberation of all oppressed peoples. I passionately believe that the work I do to end prostitution is revolutionary. No one deserves to be used and abused, and that is the universal experience of prostituted women and children. It is also revolutionary work because my freedom as a woman is meaningless so long as some of us can be bought and sold. The giant sex industry grinds on, exploiting and enslaving women, while sexual liberals are well-paid by ...