Published on October 18, 2022 by Morgan Black
David M. Smolin, the Harwell G. Davis Professor of Constitutional Law and director of Cumberland School of Law's Center for Children, Law and Ethics, is a sought-after expert on international children's issues (adoption, children's rights, child labor, child trafficking), and family and juvenile law, among others. New research by Professor Smolin has recently been selected for publication.
In Cumberland Law Review's next volume, Smolin's article "Beyond Apologies: Children Mothers, Religious Liberty, and the Mission of the Catholic Church" will be published. This article addresses, from religious liberty and theological perspectives, two sets of serious errors in the treatment of mothers and children, in which the Catholic Church (and other churches) participated. These serious errors have created credibility gaps regarding the Church’s mission and societal role in assisting vulnerable children and families.
Also for the Cumberland Law Review, Vol. 52, Issue 1, Smolin contributed “Kids Are Not Cakes: A Children’s Rights Perspective on Fulton v. City of Philadelphia.” In the case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the City of Philadelphia violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment by excluding the long-term participation of Catholic Social Services (CSS) in certifying foster parents. The article maintains that foster care systems and children should not be viewed through the lens of public accommodations laws and addresses the impact on foster children of conflicts such as those which occurred between the City of Philadelphia and CSS.
Lastly, Smolin co-wrote a chapter for the Research Handbook on Surrogacy and the Law. His portion is called "Surrogacy, Intermediaries, and the Sale of Children." This work applies international child rights norms to contemporary practices of surrogacy, especially commercial surrogacy, and analyzes the interrelationship between the rights of the child not to be sold, and other rights of the child, and the ways in which commercial surrogacy as currently practiced systemically and simultaneously violates multiple rights of the child. The chapter is co-authored with Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, the former UN Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, and the first woman elected as deputy secretary general of the Council of Europe.
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