All Our Families: New Policies for a New Century : a Report of the Berkeley Family Forum

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Mary Ann Mason, Arlene S. Skolnick, Stephen D. Sugarman
Oxford University Press, 1998 - Social Science - 260 pages
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Many people think that American families are disintegrating. These critics often compare today's families with an imagined typical family of the past -- stable, middle class, working father, stay-at-home mother, and two or three children. But most American families are not, and never were, like that. Moreover, these critics are often unaware that divorce rates and welfare rolls are down, or that teen pregnancy rates are lower than they were in the 1950s. What are today's families really like? What should society expect of them? What should society do for them? This book, a project of the Berkeley Forum on the Family, takes a hard look at contemporary families. Chapters include those on divorcing families, single-parent families, step-families, dual-income families, adolescent-parent families, and gay and lesbian families. Distinguished by their exceptional reputations as family scholars, the Forums interdisciplinary team of authors examines challenges to existing public policies brought on by problems such as custody disputes, family poverty, parental kidnapping, abuse and neglect, and the special psychological conditions faced by today's couples with newborns. The contending claims of biological and psychological parents are exposed and confronted.

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About the author (1998)

STEPHEN D. SUGARMAN is Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.

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