Inequality Inquiry >> Category

Choice or Coercion? How the Push to Avoid Formal Foster Care Has Contributed to the Creation of a Dangerous Hidden Foster Care System

February 2, 2022

By Sydnie Peterson* Family units will often come into contact with child protective agencies when they are at their most vulnerable and in crisis. This was the case for Brian Hogan, whose first experience with local child protective agencies occurred after his wife experienced a heart attack and was sent to a hospital approximately two…

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A Full Constellation of Benefits: How In Re the Custody of N.S.V. Exemplifies the Need for Courts and Legislatures to Readdress Definitions of Parenthood in Light of the Recognition of Same-sex Relationships

June 21, 2022

View/Download PDF Version By Esther Raty† Two women fall in love, move in together, and decide to start a family.[1] While two women cannot both genetically[2] be the parent of one child, they can choose when to have a child, which sperm donor to use, and how to co-parent a child.[3] However, no matter how…

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Reforming the Troubled Teen Industry

November 30, 2022

By Alida Weidensee* Imagine yourself as a teenager. You wake up in the middle of the night to adult strangers in your bedroom. Maybe there are police officers too. These strangers force you to go with them, telling you that there is “a choice to do this the easy way or hard way.” You might…

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Updated Minnesota Child Support Guidelines Starting January 1, 2023: What’s Changing and Who Will Be Impacted?

February 10, 2023

*By Sydnie Peterson Effective January 1, 2023, the Minnesota child support guidelines will undergo various targeted changes that aim to have a large impact on child support awards. Child support awards are court ordered and intended to adequately provide for children’s “care, housing, food, clothing, transportation, and additional support for medical costs” and child care.[1]…

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Is My Family Constitution Unconstitutional?

May 2, 2019

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by Allison Anna Tait
Every high-wealth family should write a constitution, at least that’s what wealth managers say. Because, “[w]ithout careful planning and stewardship, a hard earned fortune can easily be dissipated within a generation or two.” The aphorism “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” vividly captures this phenomenon and its universalism demonstrates how widespread and entrenched the problem is.

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How Family Law Court Exacerbates the Effects of Domestic Violence

February 2, 2021

Kendra Saathoff* In family law court, custody proceedings can be made difficult by a history of domestic violence between the parents. Ultimately, judges’ interpretation of demeanor influences their fact finding and can lead them to determining domestic violence has not occurred when it has, or that it is not relevant to their determination of custody.…

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 Reason-Specific Abortion Bans Under Current Abortion Jurisprudence

March 13, 2023

View/Download PDF Version By Jocelyn Rimes† Introduction In 2021 alone, 108 restrictions on abortion were enacted in just nineteen states.[1] With the recent Supreme Court decision, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that eliminated the federal constitutional right to obtain an abortion, abortion access is in a perilous position for millions of individuals.[2] Currently, ten…

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The Clash Between LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Law and Freedom of Speech in 303 Creative v. Elenis: Which Will Take the Cake?

April 2, 2023

By Elizabeth Wellhausen* In December 2022, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for 303 Creative v. Elenis, a case that is basically a “redo” of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.[1] In Masterpiece, a baker refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because same-sex marriage conflicted with his religious views.[2] The…

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“Reasonable Efforts” Inequities in Minnesota Child Welfare Removals

May 12, 2023

By Luke Srodulski When Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed House File 4065 into law on June 2, 2022, much of the media coverage surrounded provisions legalizing THC-infused edibles and beverages, and whether Republican state lawmakers had actually intended to pass them.[1] Far less notable to most observers were reforms to child welfare law.[2] These amendments…

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A Discriminatory Definition of “Mother:” The Injustice of the British Birth Registry System

September 21, 2021

Sharon Beck* Freddy McConnell, a single father in the United Kingdom, is expecting his second child in early 2022. When they are born, they will join Freddy’s family, which also includes his first child, SJ. Since giving birth to SJ in 2018, Freddy has raised him as a single father, happily and by choice. But both of his children’s birth certificates will list Freddy as their mother, not father, which Freddy has been fighting since he gave birth to SJ.

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Children’s Online Privacy in the Age of Influencers

September 24, 2021

The children of family vloggers are often on-screen from the moment they are born—“birth vlogs” are a popular subgenre. Pregnancy is chronicled in excruciating detail, often with a focus on “gender reveals” and a highly anticipated buildup to the reveal of the child’s name.

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Can Kayden’s Law Erase the Legal Fiction of Parental Alienation?

April 16, 2024

By: Sydney Koehler Debunking “parental alienation” “Parental alienation syndrome” may sound like a medical diagnosis, but it is decidedly not—at least, not according to the scientific community.[1] Dr. Richard Gardner’s theory of “parental alienation” has been discredited by medical experts and human rights advocates as an empirically unfounded “pseudo-concept” that reifies negative stereotypes about victims…

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Constitutional Arguments for the Legal Recognition of Bigamous Marriages

October 7, 2021

by Esther Raty* Introduction Bigamy, “the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another,”[1] is illegal in the United States.[2] If a person’s first marriage remains intact, their second marriage is not legally binding and can even lead to criminal charges.[3] Bigamy laws prohibit individuals in polygamous and…

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