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December 10, 2018

Recent family-related news included a look at why the drop in the divorce rate may not be a good thing, what it takes to divorce in Ireland, questioning the custom of forcing your child to hug and kiss their relatives, the changing world of donor siblings, and research on the importance of mother-child interaction when the mother is incarcerated.

The Divorce Rate Is Dropping. That May Not Actually Be Good News Belinda Luscombe, Time, November 26, 2018 People who are getting married are increasingly staying married. But that group is an ever-smaller and more privileged group of individuals. Marriage is becoming one of the many institutions from which the poor, less-educated and disadvantaged are excluded.

Ireland Needs to Look at Clean-Break Divorce Louise Crowley, The Irish Times, November 26, 2018 Divorce was introduced in Ireland in 1996 following a tightly contested referendum which was passed by a small margin… As a result, in order to get a divorce a couple must satisfy three conditions.

Don’t Force Your Kids to Hug and Kiss Relatives During the Holidays, Pediatrician Says Robin Young, WBUR, December 3, 2018 Developmental pediatricians are telling parents to reconsider the age-old practice of forcing children to hug or kiss members of the extended family when gathering at the holidays. They say doing so takes away the child’s autonomy over their own body and sends a message that it’s OK for others to demand affection.

The Changing Norms Around Donor-Sibling Networks Ashley Fetters, The Atlantic, December 4, 2018 Today, parents of donor-conceived kids are far more likely to openly share their children’s origins with others than in the past, and more donors than ever before now opt to make their biographical details and contact information available to their donor offspring when they turn 18. In other words, sperm donation has become less of a family secret in the past few decades.

Getting Past the Barriers: When a Mother Is in Prison Misha Valencia, The New York Times, December 6, 2018 According to the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit research organization, women are the country’s fastest-growing prison population, and 80 percent of them are mothers. The overwhelming majority were the primary caregivers of their children. Allowing incarcerated mothers to interact and play with their children during visits helps maintain a sense of family connection and may reduce the trauma of separation.

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