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June 23, 2021 Roundup

Recent family-related news included a frightening rise in child labor globally and an acknowledgement of the all too common acceptance of child marriage in the United States. Other news included a Supreme Court ruling upholding the rights of a Philadelphia foster care agency to refuse to work with same-sex couples; a new book featuring the world of gay fatherhood; and a look at the question of how transgender and non-binary parents fit into the traditional concept of ‘motherhood’.

Lyric Thompson, The New York Times, June 15, 2021

North Carolina is among a number of states to allow marriage at age 14 or 15 – sometimes in direct opposition to state statutory rape laws. Research comparing different health, economic, educational and violence outcomes for child brides found that marriage is not protective for girls, more likely to result in divorce and married girls are 50 percent more likely to drop out of high school and much less likely to finish college.

Britni De La Cretaz, NPR, June 15, 2021

In the crowded genre of memoir about mothering, Krys Malcolm Belc’s debut, The Natural Mother of the Child, asks: What do we do with someone who is parenting the child they gave birth to, but is not a mother at all? Where do transgender and non-binary parents fit, especially in a world that is determined to force them into a box labeled “mother?”

David Dodge; Photographs by Bart Heynen, The New York Times, June 16, 2021

A new book of photography features the intimate moments of queer dads in America. The concept is to focus on fathers in the middle of their day-to-day realities. The author spent four years with 40 families across the country, compiling their quiet moments into his recently released book, “Dads.”

Adam Liptak, The New York Times, June 17, 2021

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday that a Catholic social services agency in Philadelphia could defy city rules and refuse to work with same-sex couples who apply to take in foster children.

The court’s three-member liberal wing — Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — joined the majority opinion, which was a surprise and may have been part of an effort to avoid a broader ruling that might have allowed religious objections to override all sorts of government policies and programs.

Jason Beaubien, NPR, June 17, 2021

A report released earlier this month by UNICEF and the International Labour Organization found that after years of reductions in child labor globally, the number of children working for wages is now on the rise. And COVID is making matters worse. More children are out of school and economic slowdowns from the pandemic have meant families already living in poverty have often had fewer opportunities to earn cash and children are working instead of going to school.

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