Second Class Parents?

On March 22, 2010, in Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D, by Betsy

by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D

This article was originally pubished at National Catholic Register, March 22, 2010, under the title “Conferral of Parenthood Does Not a First-Class Citizen Make.”

“Domestic partnerships make us second-class citizens. We want marriage, just like everyone else.”

This is the constant refrain of the marriage-redefinition advocates. Drawing a legal distinction, any legal distinction, between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples is unfair and amounts to ill treatment of the same-sex couples. But does this argument really hold up?

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The Implications of United States Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Introduction

The purpose of this submission is to provide evaluative analysis of the potential implications of ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC or Convention) and to inform the public of perspectives regarding ratification. The CRC is a United Nations treaty seeking to promote children’s rights such as access to welfare, claim to a good education, and entitlement to freedom of religion.  Despite these laudable goals, there is substantial controversy regarding adoption of the treaty in the United States.  The current political climate brings this issue to the forefront as the Obama administration is researching when and how it will be possible to ratify the CRC with the concern that the United States may be falling behind as a leader in human rights without its ratification.  However, it appears that ratification of the CRC would impede United States sovereignty and fail to accomplish its intended purpose to increase human rights on a worldwide scale.

The current thesis presents an evaluative analysis of these potential implications of U.S. ratification of the CRC through providing the following: (1) a comparison of the United States’ existing law with legislation that would be required under the Convention, (2) an examination of the underlying assumptions and possible interpretations of the Convention through studying the changes its ratification has brought about in other countries, (3) an exploration of the potential risk to national sovereignty that would result from ratification of a treaty overseen by a body outside of the United States government. A thorough review of the potential implications provided through this evaluative analysis will contribute to a more informed position regarding ratification of the CRC than has been available to this point.

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by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D

Adoption is an important, yet peripheral issue in the relationship of the family to society. It is peripheral because typically, the percentage of children who are adopted instead of being cared for by their biological parents is rather small. It is nonetheless important because the societal standards surrounding adoption reflect the values and beliefs of the society. The standards may include informal norms and social expectations, as well as legislation passed by elected bodies, and policies formed by public and private adoption agencies. The subjects of those social rules range from the social norms under which biological parents voluntarily place children for adoption, the legal rules under which their consent is secured, and the conditions under which agents of the state may remove children from biological parents and place them for adoption. Society will also have a set of shared understandings, laws and social norms about the terms under which adults unrelated to the child may be considered as acceptable adoptive parents. All of these standards reflect the values of the society.

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by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D

Legalizing same-sex “marriage” is not a stand-alone policy, independent of all the other activities of the state. Once governments assert that same-sex unions are the equivalent of marriage, those governments must defend and enforce a whole host of other social changes.

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by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D

The United Kingdom is about to repeat the ill-treatment of the Catholic Church pioneered in Boston. The government of the UK may effectively shut down the nation-wide Catholic adoption services rather than grant a religious exemption to the new law requiring equal treatment on the basis of sexual orientation. The Archbishop of Canterbury along with the Muslim Council of Britain have both stated their support of the Roman Catholic Church.

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