Family Matters

Readings on Family Lives and the Law
Edited by:

A reader that addresses the gap between existing legislation on familial issues and family lives as they are really lived today

“Those who fall outside of traditional family structures, and those oppressed or affected by the failures of family will have a voice, and people will listen. Family Matters presents a wide range of readings that will assist students in becoming more aware and familiar with those voices.” —American Bar Association

As debates over family values preoccupy politicians and the public, judges and legislators grapple with even more basic questions. What is a family? Who should count as a family member, and with what consequences for obligations and benefits? Interracial adoption, new reproductive technologies, and gay and lesbian relationships provide simply a few of the settings in which these questions acquire contemporary urgency. Law also has to address such thorny issues as how an individual can form a family or leave one; how to prosecute and minimize violence within families; and how children can obtain the emotional and financial support owed to them, even by absent parents.

The materials assembled here provide a basis for studying these themes and many others in U.S. family law and family lives. Whether used to enhance personal insight or professional competence, Family Matters should provide food for thought and nourishment for the collective lives of families and communities.

The New Press's “Law in Context” series is designed to offer new perspectives on existing fields of legal study, and to open up those evolving areas in which current law and interpretation are out of sync with social and cultural practices.

Books by Martha Minow

Not Only for Myself
Identity, Politics, and the Law

Martha Minow

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