For America’s Economic Competitiveness, Necessity is the Mother of Innovation (via Corporate Voices for Working Families)

Excellent blog article from Corporate Voices for Working Families on how more family friendly policies and actions make for a better corporate environment, as well as a better community.

For America’s Economic Competitiveness, Necessity is the Mother of Innovation Amy Hilbrich Davis, founder/CEO of inspiring Moms contributed this post as a Featured Guest Blogger. Inspiring Moms helps leading companies increase employee engagement by providing working parents with the strategies and tools to achieve greater balance, success and happiness in their family life. Davis is also the mother of seven and author of the award-winning balance MAP. In his State of the Union speech, President Obama shared a vision for h … Read More

via Corporate Voices for Working Families

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Superwomen Bring Home Less of the Bacon, Spend More on the Pan

Welcome to Women’s History Month!

On March 1, the White House Council on Women and Girls released a report finding that while women have equalized or surpassed men in educational achievement, they simply aren’t paid for it.  The bottom line — WOMEN EARN LESS, BUT SPEND MORE, and that hurts all of us.

The Good News

Women today are more likely than men to have a master’s degree.  Women also comprise a nearly equal percentage of the labor force.  Our earnings comprise a greater share of family income.  Women live longer.  And women today are less likely targets of violence.

The Bad News

Women’s salaries remain only about 75% of that of their male counterparts, regardless of educational level.  Women, however, comprise a greater percentage of heads of households, and thus are more likely to live in poverty.  Women of color are disproportionately affected.  Women also face more health problems, despite living longer.  The kicker is that women are less likely to have health insurance.

Long Term Impact

These are not starkly new statistics.  However, it’s not always easy to fully connect the dots on the longer term impacts of these findings.  So, what’s the calculus?

More education = more educational debt

More debt + less pay = less income

Less income + more children/family financial responsibility = greater likelihood of poverty

Less present salary = less money in retirement (b/c pensions & Social Security are based on earnings history) = higher retirement age

Higher retirement age + increased longevity + increased health problems + no/little health insurance = poor health & greater poverty = greater burden on younger family members (who are predominantly female caregivers)

Greater financial burdens on families = greater burdens on communities

REPEAT

So what does all of this mean?  In the aggregate, it means that WOMEN ARE SUPER BECAUSE WE CONSISTENTLY DO MORE WITH LESS, but this is an inauspicious honor that lasts throughout a woman’s life.  Isn’t it time we decide as a nation that we will finally fully embrace the ideals of the “Founding Fathers (and Mothers)” and treat (meaning PAY) all of us equally?  Our futures, and those of our daughters and granddaughters depend on it.

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NJ Hasn’t Come a Long Way, Baby (M)!

Perhaps no better place to kick off my blog for moms and the law than the State that gave us “Baby M.”  As you may recall, by the 1980s, science had figured out a way to literally make babies.  In that regard, we did come a long way.  It seems, however, that our legal system remains stuck in the 1780s. 

Last week, New Jersey reaffirmed in the  Matter of the Parentage of a Child by T.J.S. and A.L.S., A-4784-09, that it remains okay to add to the indignities, anxiety, loneliness, depression, and frustration of infertile women by yet once again denying them immediate parental rights at the birth of a surrogate child.  Nevermind that the gestational mother entered willingly into the process, agreed to bear the child, and agreed while still pregnant to terminate her technical parental rights.  Also nevermind that the New Jersey law treats men entirely differently — automatically finding them to be the father of a child born in wedlock, regardless of the genetic parentage. 

The only remedy then, is for the birth mother to terminate her rights (which she cannot do until 72 hours after birth) and then for the “stepmother” to pursue an adoption.  Meanwhile, the baby is left with only one legal parent to make all of the related parental decisions.

Pursuing a legal adoption then becomes yet another lengthy, expensive, intrusive process that could at best require months to finalize. 

So, in case you’ve missed it, that is very likely at the least the third (if not fourth, fifth or sixth) lengthy, expensive, intrusive process that this new mother will have endured.  First being the discovery of infertility.  Second, the very likely numerous injections and months of trying various medical processes to circumvent the infertility.  Third, the agonizing decision and effort to seek a donor/surrogate carrier.  Fourth, the trials and tribulations of surrogate insemination.  And, finally, once all of that is carried out and lo and behold a child is born — whoops!  Let’s start this “mom” roller coaster all over again in the courts.  Examinations and explanations of birth efforts, psychological reviews of competence and fitness, intrusive reviews of financial stability — all of which will have been strained by years of going through the process already.

New Jersey moms (and other around the world) who must endure all of this — more than any mother should have to endure before a child is ever born — my heart goes out to you.  You clearly have the biggest hearts and strongest wills to bear all of this in order to be the mom you’ve always known you were meant to be.  May our courts catch up with our hearts (and with our science) sooner rather than later.

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Hello world!

As an attorney and a mother in the DC area, I read almost every day about unfairness and injustice shown to women, and particularly mothers.  I want to do my part to get the word out about mothers and the legal system to keep us informed and (pardon the pun) abreast of what’s happening in the legal world with regard to women and mothers.  Unfortunately, the law is not always on our side, and with males far outnumbering females in both the judiciary and in the legislatures (federal and state), we must work together to enlighten them — and quite frankly point out the disparities plain and simple.  I’m hopeful that mom-wisdom and legal-transparency combined will enlighten and lift us all.

Please feel free to comment and add to the dialogue.  I look forward to hearing from you!

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