- Title Pages
- 1 How to Give the Present a Past? Family Law in the United States 1950–2000
- 2 Changing Family Patterns in England and Wales over the Last Fifty Years
- 3 A Century of the American Family
- 4 Family Policy in the Post-War Period
- 5 The Evolution of Family Policy in the United States after World War II
- 6 English Family Law since World War II: From Status to Chaos
- 7 The Shadowlands: The Regulation of Human Reproduction in the United States
- 8 The Legal Regulation of Infertility Treatment in Britain
- 9 Parenthood in the United States
- 10 Marriage, Cohabitation, and Parenthood—from Contract to Status?
- 11 Marriage: An Institution in Transition and Redefinition
- 12 The Constitutionalization of American Family Law: The Case of the Right to Marry
- 13 Dual Systems of Adoption in the United States
- 14 English Adoption Law: Past, Present, and Future
- 15 Divorce in the United States
- 16 Divorce in England 1950–2000: A Moral Tale?
- 17 The Financial Incidents of Family Dissolution
- 18 Post-divorce Financial Obligations
- 19 The Status of Children: A Story of Emerging Rights
- 20 Disputing Children
- 21 The Law and Violence Against Women in the Family at Century’s End: The US Experience
- 22 Violence Against Women in the Family
- 23 A Forum for Every Fuss: The Growth of Court Services and ADR Treatments for Family Law Cases in the United States
- 24 Access to Justice in Family Matters in Post-War Britain
- 25 Child Welfare Policy and Practice in the United States 1950–2000
- 26 From Curtis to Waterhouse: State Care and Child Protection in the UK 1945–2000
- 27 The Hague Children’s Conventions: The Internationalization of Child Law
- 28 Individual Rights and Family Relationships
- 29 The End of an Era?
- (p.440) (p.441) 20 Disputing Children
- Cross Currents
- Oxford University Press
Fifty years ago there were disputes over children—many fewer than there are now because there were many fewer divorces and Britain was a less rights-conscious society—but their character was very different from those of today. Feminism had not (re)emerged and, though the world had focused on children in the aftermath of World War I there was no talk of children’s rights. Cases did not need to go to court: the couple filing for divorce bargained in the shadow of legal and psychological truths and this was encapsulated in the writings of John Bowlby. In 1926, the leading case on children was Re Thain. This had decided that the parental right of an unimpeachable parent should take priority over considerations of a child’s welfare. This chapter discusses parental disputes over children in Britain, the emergence of children’s rights, the enactment of the Children Act 1989, the shift in parent-child relations from parental rights to parental responsibility, and the role of religion and race in settling disputes over children.
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