This issue reflects some of the important issues
concerning families--ranging from defining parents and having children other than by sexual intercourse, to defining and supporting families today, to which state (or country) law determines ownership of property during marriage or upon
Charles P. Kindregan and Steven H. Snyder have written an article, "Clarifying the Law of ART: The New American Bar Association Model Act Governing Assisted Reproductive Technology," detailing the drafting history and a discussion of the major provisions of the model Act, which was passed by the ABA in February 2008. The Act is also included in the issue.
In "What Is a 'Family'? Conflicting Messages from Our Public Programs," Stephen D. Sugarman tackles the issue of how government defines a family and which government policies support or hinder families today. His thoughtful article
looks at the areas of Social Security, housing, tax, welfare, and immigration. He suggests that government programs should support today's diverse families.
In "What if the Beckhams Move to L.A. and Divorce? Marital Property Rights of Mobile Spouses When They Divorce in the United States," J. Thomas Oldham explores the differences between European Union law on marital property and the hodge-podge approach taken in the United States. Tom's helpful overview of the varying, and often conflicting, ways American courts determine which law applies to the acquisition and distribution of property when parties have lived in more than one state or country points up the need for a more uniform approach. He offers several suggestions for clarifying which rules should apply, including premarital contracts.