Fall 2015 Family Policy Section update

Bethany Letiecq, section chair

Greetings! I hope this report finds you enjoying the last vestiges of summer and looking forward to the start of a new academic year and, of course, the NCFR Annual Conference in Vancouver. The Family Policy Section has put together an exciting program, including the sponsorship of a preconference policy workshop on media engagement, led by Stephanie Coontz. Organized by Jennifer Crosswhite, NCFR's Director of Public Affairs, this workshop will focus on translating research for public consumption via the media, and in particular how researchers and practitioners can make an impact through Op-Ed articles.

Since June, many have been digesting the consequential SCOTUS rulings on same-sex marriage and health care, among others. For the upcoming conference, the Family Policy Section is pleased to present several sessions that will contextualize the meanings of these rulings for families and consider the legal and policy implications for family well-being.

Inspired by their paper, entitled "As the States Turn: Marriage in a Changing Legal Context," for our first symposium Brian Ogolsky, Ramona Faith Oswald, and Kale Monk will discuss the changing legal context of the institution of marriage and individuals' legal knowledge. Claire Kimberly will join the panel to discuss the legal rights of same-sex and transgender individuals and their families. And we are pleased that Professor Courtney Grant Joslin, of the University of California, Davis, School of Law will be joining us to share her research on family and relationship recognition among same-sex and nonmarital couples. Professor Joslin received her law degree from Harvard Law School, where she was an executive editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of California, Joslin served as an attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, where she litigated cases on behalf of LGBT families. This timely panel will fore-cast what the future holds as LGBT families and nonmarital couples (among others) seek rights and recognition under the law.

A second symposium, chaired by Rachel Farr, will focus on risk and resilience in diverse adoptive families. Panelists will present their research on coparenting, birth family contact, socialization practices (including racial socialization), and adjustment among lesbian, gay, and heterosexual adoptive parents and their children. During this panel information will be shared regarding legal protections beyond same-sex marriage that are needed for the optimal well-being of diverse adoptive families.

The third symposium, chaired by Elaine Anderson, will focus on health policy matters by presenting three family-centered health impact analyses of violence- and trauma-related policies, including The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, The Violence Against Women Act, and the federal government's Strengthening Our Military Families initiative.

In addition to the preconference media workshop and symposia there will be an excellent lineup of poster symposia, poster sessions, and other Family Policy cosponsored sessions. Also, please make sure to come to the Family Policy Section meeting from 7–8:15 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. Coffee and light breakfast fare will be served. We look forward to seeing you in Vancouver and engaging with you in all things family policy!