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Mommy Dearest?:Postpartum Psychosis, The American Legal System, And The Criminalization Of Mental Illness, Allison Dopazo 2022 University of Miami Law School

Mommy Dearest?:Postpartum Psychosis, The American Legal System, And The Criminalization Of Mental Illness, Allison Dopazo

University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review

Children are often regarded as the most sacred beings in all of society—appealing to our collective sense of human dignity and protecting the most vulnerable. Mothers fiercely protecting their young children from perceived dangers is ostensibly a natural and moral response. This notion of the loving mother is in stark contrast to filicide, or the act of a parent murdering their child. It is a bedrock principle of the American criminal-justice system that a defendant is not responsible for their actions if the defendant was “laboring under such a defect of reason, from a disease of the mind, as ...


If You Grant It, They Will Come: The History And Enduring Legal Legacy Of Migratory Divorce, Michael J. Higdon 2022 University of Tennessee

If You Grant It, They Will Come: The History And Enduring Legal Legacy Of Migratory Divorce, Michael J. Higdon

Utah Law Review

Fifty years ago, California became the first state to enact no-fault divorce, making it easier than ever before for individuals to dissolve unsuccessful marriages. Soon, every state would follow suit, and over the years, much has been written about this national shift in the law of divorce. What has thus far escaped scrutiny, however, is one of the prime casualties of that switch—the phenomenon of migratory divorce. This failure is somewhat ironic given that, although no-fault divorce has existed for just over fifty years, migratory divorce played a prominent role in American legal history for well over a century ...


Chilling Parental Rights, Meghan M. Boone 2022 Wake Forest University School of Law

Chilling Parental Rights, Meghan M. Boone

Fordham Law Review

Despite this clear lack of consensus as to what constitutes ideal parenting, state actors have increasingly intervened in families when they feel that a particular parenting choice is wrong. These interventions increasingly occur through the use of criminal law and punishment.5 This criminalization extends beyond prosecutions for what would traditionally be considered abuse or neglect to a wide range of parenting choices that do not rise to this level. Although many scholars have critiqued this criminalization of parenting, the focus of these critiques has centered on the harm to the families that are actually criminalized and on how a ...


Fertility, Immigration, And Public Support For Parenting, Eleanor Brown, Naomi Cahn, June Carbone 2022 Penn State Law

Fertility, Immigration, And Public Support For Parenting, Eleanor Brown, Naomi Cahn, June Carbone

Fordham Law Review

As this Essay shows, the fertility discourse of the last half century deals with the profound effects that come from the transformation of the economy and the place of modern families within it. Discussions of race and class have been an important—and, often, pernicious—part of a transformation in family values, as the upper-middle-class efforts to channel ever greater investment into children have increased economic inequality and contributed to racial, ideological, and gender division. We see the convergence in fertility rates as an indication that, at a practical level, a much larger part of the country is embracing the ...


Covid-19 And The Perils Of Free-Market Parenting: Why It Is Past Time For The United States To Install Government Supports For Families, Maxine Eichner 2022 University of North Carolina School of Law

Covid-19 And The Perils Of Free-Market Parenting: Why It Is Past Time For The United States To Install Government Supports For Families, Maxine Eichner

Fordham Law Review

U.S. public policy has for decades rested on the expectation that parents will privately provide the cash and conditions their children need. This expectation is exceptional: most other wealthy countries’ public policies support children through a mix of public and private funds. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, radically changed U.S. policy. The severe economic dislocation that resulted led Congress to pass a series of measures that funneled trillions of public dollars to families and parents. Whether these measures should represent a temporary deviation from the nation’s free-market expectations during an unprecedented emergency or the first step in a ...


The Enduring Importance Of Parental Rights, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth Scott 2022 Fordham University School of Law

The Enduring Importance Of Parental Rights, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth Scott

Fordham Law Review

Parental rights are—and should remain—the backbone of family law. State deference to parents is warranted not because parents are infallible, nor because parents own their children, but rather because parental rights, properly understood and limited, promote child wellbeing.1 This is true for several reasons, but two stand out. First, parental rights promote the stability of the parent-child relationship by restricting the state’s authority to intervene in families. This protection promotes healthy child development for all children, and it is especially important for low-income families and families of color, who are subject to intensive state scrutiny.2 ...


The Public/Private Distinction In Public Health: The Case Of Covid-19, Jason Jackson, Aziza Ahmed 2022 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Public/Private Distinction In Public Health: The Case Of Covid-19, Jason Jackson, Aziza Ahmed

Fordham Law Review

In this Essay, we argue that the paradigm of the public/private distinction is implicitly operating as a primary frame in the public health response to the pandemic. The public/private distinction is particularly evident in the guidance around masking and other risk-mitigation policies and advice issued by public health agencies. This public health approach reifies the notion of the home as an exceptional private space that exists outside of the possibility of COVID-19 transmission, obscuring the reality of the high risk of transmission in some households.8 We argue that the manifestation of the public/private distinction in the ...


Multi-Parent Families, Real And Imagined, Courtney G. Joslin, Douglas NeJaime 2022 UC Davis School of Law

Multi-Parent Families, Real And Imagined, Courtney G. Joslin, Douglas Nejaime

Fordham Law Review

This piece is the first in a series on functional parenthood growing out of an empirical study of all electronically available cases from the last forty years decided under functional parent doctrines, including cases that feature more than two parental figures.20 Our goal is to provide a more empirically grounded understanding of the circumstances under which a child may have functional parents, including situations in which a child has more than two parents, and an accurate assessment of the range of factual contexts in which courts may be asked to adjudicate the issue. We supply a more comprehensive and ...


Parenting While Black, R. A. Lenhardt 2022 Georgetown University Law Center

Parenting While Black, R. A. Lenhardt

Fordham Law Review

Changes in law and policy—not to mention developments such as the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effects on families—raise important questions about how to define parental rights and how to best support parents and children during these challenging times. The Symposium also presented important questions about issues of race, gender, sexuality, and class in our modern context. Even more salient in this space are issues of race. Here, as in other contexts, Black families, like my grandmother’s and so many others, are the “canaries in the mine.” Their experiences provide us with important insight into the signs ...


Parental Social Capital And Educational Inequality, Solangel Maldonado 2022 Seton Hall University School of Law

Parental Social Capital And Educational Inequality, Solangel Maldonado

Fordham Law Review

This Essay argues that scholars must consider the nonmonetary resources—specifically, the social capital24—that middle- and upper-income parents bring to the predominantly White schools their children attend. While scholars have recognized middle- and upper-income students as educational resources that can help bridge the achievement gap, they have yet to explore the effects of nonmonetary resources that middle- and upper-income White parents bring to predominantly White school districts, and how these resources advantage children in these schools. This Essay calls on social scientists to study these effects and urges lawmakers to support parents by (1) integrating schools and (2) funding ...


From Empathy Gap To Reparations: An Analysis Of Caregiving, Criminalization, And Family Empowerment, Charisa Smith 2022 City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law

From Empathy Gap To Reparations: An Analysis Of Caregiving, Criminalization, And Family Empowerment, Charisa Smith

Fordham Law Review

America’s legacy of violent settler colonialism and racial capitalism reveals a misunderstood and neglected civil rights concern: the forced separation of families of color and unwarranted state intrusion upon caregiving through criminalization and surveillance. The War on Drugs, the Opioid Crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic are a few examples demonstrating the precariousness of our nation’s collective empathy well toward caregivers and our tattered social safety net. In fact, these instances illuminate what this Essay coins an “empathy gap” in perception when the general public, policy makers, and the mainstream media view similarly situated families with different identities. Ironically ...


Parentage Agreements Are Not Contracts, Gregg Strauss 2022 University of Virginia School of Law

Parentage Agreements Are Not Contracts, Gregg Strauss

Fordham Law Review

Parentage agreements are proliferating. In a fertility clinic, an egg donor, sperm donor, and gestational surrogate may agree to waive their parental rights, and the intended parents may agree to share parenthood. In a maternity ward, a birth mother may agree to acknowledge a partner as a parent. In an adoption agency, birth and adoptive parents may agree to an open adoption with ongoing visitation. In a home, a parent may agree to share parentage with a cohabitant, enabling the cohabitant to become a legal parent later after raising the child and developing parental bonds. Good reasons underlie this drift ...


Domestic Violence As A Factor In Child Custody Determinations: Considering Coercive Control, Lisa A. Tucker 2022 Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law

Domestic Violence As A Factor In Child Custody Determinations: Considering Coercive Control, Lisa A. Tucker

Fordham Law Review

Many states1 have begun formally to recognize coercive control2 as a form of domestic violence in several contexts: criminal domestic violence cases,3 civil motions for protection from abuse,4 and child removal proceedings.5 This Essay argues, however, that while new laws recognizing coercive control may be noble and well-meaning, they are unlikely to increase support for mothers who have been victims of coercive control abuse and now seek custody of their children. In fact, this Essay argues, the codification of these laws may do more harm than good; by taking power away from men—and coercive control is ...


A Gardener's Tale: Confronting Racial Discrimination At The Intersection Of The School-To-Prison Pipeline And Adolescent Health, Sogand Falahatpour 2022 University of Richmond School of Law

A Gardener's Tale: Confronting Racial Discrimination At The Intersection Of The School-To-Prison Pipeline And Adolescent Health, Sogand Falahatpour

Richmond Public Interest Law Review

Racism is a public health crisis and it is killing Black youth. Systemic racism

in education is a root cause of a long list of inequities faced by Black

youth. These inequities compound over the years and create extreme hurdles

to academic success and, in many cases, are hazardous to overall health.

The school-to-prison pipeline is a severe health equity issue affecting

Black children and adolescents. Racism is a core social determinant of health

that has a profound impact on child and adolescent health. Moreover, health

is not just an individual matter; institutional and structural forces influence

who has access ...


Disrupting The School-To-Prison Pipeline: Reforming The Role Of The School Resource Officer, Olivia Seksinsky 2022 University of Richmond School of Law

Disrupting The School-To-Prison Pipeline: Reforming The Role Of The School Resource Officer, Olivia Seksinsky

Richmond Public Interest Law Review

A School Resource Officer (“SRO”) is a law enforcement officer employed

by local law enforcement agencies to provide security to public schools. As

a result of fatal and highly publicized school shootings such as Columbine

and Parkland, SROs have become a fixed aspect of many school communities.

There are tens of thousands of SROs patrolling the halls of Virginia’s

public elementary and secondary schools every year. Despite their intended

purpose to keep students safe and prevent crime, SROs too often contribute

to the school-to-prison pipeline. When SROs are brought into the classroom

to address “disruptive” behaviors, students are at ...


Choosing Children: Preventing Intra-Family Conflict From Feeding The Prison Pipeline, Samantha D. Mier 2022 University of Richmond School of Law

Choosing Children: Preventing Intra-Family Conflict From Feeding The Prison Pipeline, Samantha D. Mier

Richmond Public Interest Law Review

Parents struggling to raise challenging children often lack needed community

support. These parents turn to law enforcement when they feel their

child cannot be controlled. Problematically, law enforcement officers are

trained to respond to crime, not simple parent-child domestic disputes. Thus,

when parents call police during disagreements, the argument may end in arrest

and contact with the juvenile court system. Interaction with the juvenile

justice system carries a myriad of risks. This comment outlines the risks inherent

in calling the police and entering the juvenile court system. The author

evaluates existing alternatives to calling law enforcement and recommends

that communities ...


Timing Legal Parenthood, Noy Naaman 2022 University of Toronto, Toronto

Timing Legal Parenthood, Noy Naaman

Arkansas Law Review

When does a parent become a parent? While the literature on Assisted Reproductive Technology (“ART”) has explored the question, who is a parent? scholars in the field have paid less attention to the question “when should the parental status be formalized?” Is it at birth? Is it when a judicial order confers that legal status on an individual? Or, has the legal status of parenthood begun to develop during the time the individual has spent initiating the parental process and consolidated at the child’s birth? Yet, these questions have critical legal and practical implications. The following scenarios illustrate how ...


Same-Gender Pathways To Parenthood, Sydney T. Inger 2022 James Madison University

Same-Gender Pathways To Parenthood, Sydney T. Inger

James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal (JMURJ)

LGBTQ+ individuals and couples who want children negotiate systemic inequalities in the United States of America. This literature review surveys America’s confusing legal map and the gaps in its enduring scholarly theories. The paper then examines the challenges that LGBTQ+ individuals and couples confront in working through the common pathways—same-gender adoption and fostering, in vitro fertilization, and surrogacy—to become parents. Dispersing information on the pathways will be a positive step towards breaking down the inequities for those in the LGBTQ+ community who want to start a family.


Insuring Contraceptive Equity, Jennifer Hickey 2022 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Insuring Contraceptive Equity, Jennifer Hickey

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

The United States is in the midst of a family planning crisis. Approximately half of all pregnancies nationwide are unintended. In recognition of the social importance of family planning, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a “contraceptive mandate” that requires insurers to cover contraception at no cost. Yet, a decade after its enactment, the ACA’s promise of universal contraceptive access for insured women remains unfulfilled, with as many as one-third of U.S. women unable to access their preferred contraceptive without cost.

While much attention has been focused on religious exemptions granted to employers, the primary barrier to no-cost ...


Making The Case For Paid Parental Leave In The United States, Jane Johnson, Sarah Calvert 2022 Brigham Young University

Making The Case For Paid Parental Leave In The United States, Jane Johnson, Sarah Calvert

Brigham Young University Prelaw Review

Despite being one of the most influential countries in the world, the United States is still one of only three developed countries that does not mandate paid parental leave on a federal level. Although some federal legislation does offer unpaid leave, these laws are insufficient to meet the needs of working parents. This paper examines existing parental leave laws to highlight the duration of leave and methods of funding used by some U.S. states and other countries worldwide. We also review multiple studies that demonstrate benefits of paid parental leave for both parents and children. This paper ends with ...


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