What If Joey Has Two Daddies?

On March 30, 2010, in William C. Duncan, by Betsy

by William C. Duncan

This article was published as an exclusive work for the Ruth Institute newsletter published March 30, 2010.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently issued an opinion ordering the State of Louisiana to issue an amended birth certificate for a child born in Louisiana but listing as the child’s parents two men. The child had been adopted by a male couple in New York. The court believed this result was mandated by the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause. The bad news is that I believe the Fifth Circuit panel was mistaken in this case, called Adar v Smith.  Not long after the decision was released, the State of Louisiana announced it would seek a rehearing from all of the judges on the Fifth Circuit. The good news is that this petition provides an opportunity for the entire Circuit to provide a more child-friendly ruling, and remedy major defects in the panel’s decision.

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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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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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Are Dads Disposable?

On February 6, 2007, in Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D, by Betsy

by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D

First published February 6, 2007.

I hate to disagree with my friend Glenn Sacks, but I think he has missed the boat in his recent comparison of lesbian “social” mothers with divorced fathers. Mr. Sacks, a prominent fathers’ rights advocate, is correct that in both cases, family law courts diminish the claims of people who want to maintain a relationship with a child. But he is very much mistaken in equating the validity of the two types of claims. And fatherhood is at risk, no matter how the court resolves particular disputes between estranged lesbian partners.

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by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D

A childless legislator here in California (where else?) has proposed a legislative ban on spanking. Sally Lieber, Democrat (naturally) from Mountain View, which is in Northern California (why am I not surprised?) believes this is a proper function of state government.

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