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Rethink The Laws Relating To Fathers (Change: With The Decline In Married Mothers And Traditional Families, The Legal Image Of Dads Needs Re-Examination), Jane C. Murphy Jun 2001

Rethink The Laws Relating To Fathers (Change: With The Decline In Married Mothers And Traditional Families, The Legal Image Of Dads Needs Re-Examination), Jane C. Murphy

All Faculty Scholarship

This "marital presumption" permitted courts to assume a set of biological facts in the name of preserving the sanctity and stability of what was assumed to be the cornerstone of a healthy society — the traditional family of husband, wife and children. In the last decades of the 20th century, science developed paternity testing with results approaching certainty. Despite the availability of DNA testing, the marital presumption is still used in many courtrooms to answer the question of who is the legal father. What one scholar has called "the law's struggle to preserve the fiction of an older moral order ...


The Idea Of Adoption: An Inquiry Into The History Of Adult Adoptee Access To Birth Records, Elizabeth Samuels Jan 2001

The Idea Of Adoption: An Inquiry Into The History Of Adult Adoptee Access To Birth Records, Elizabeth Samuels

All Faculty Scholarship

There has been in recent years and there continues to be intense debate around the country about whether to open original birth records to adult adoptees. Our understanding of the legal history relevant to the debate has been incomplete and inaccurate. According to this understanding, the state laws that closed court and birth records to the parties to adoptions generally closed these records for all time to all parties; the laws had a primary purpose of insuring lifelong anonymity for birth parents; and the laws became nearly universal by about the middle of the twentieth century. In fact, the history ...


The Strange History Of Adult Adoptee Access To Original Birth Records, Elizabeth Samuels Jan 2001

The Strange History Of Adult Adoptee Access To Original Birth Records, Elizabeth Samuels

All Faculty Scholarship

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, contemporary accounts reported that most states had sealed adoption court records completely but, typically, had sealed original birth certificates from all persons except adult adoptees. Through the 1950s influential experts recommended that original birth certificates remain available to adult adoptees, while birth and court records otherwise be closed to all persons except upon court order. In 1960 the laws in some 40 percent of the states still permitted adult adoptees to inspect them, but between 1960 and 1990 all but a handful of the rest of the states closed the birth records to ...