Government and the Family
General Catalog Course Title:
Government and the Family
Terms Offered:
Fall 2013
Fall 2012
Fall 2011

How has the law constructed "family" relationships? What is the scope of state regulation of the relationships between married spouses, unmarried cohabitants, opposite sex and same sex couples? Should anyone be denied a “right” to marry? Is there a fundamental right to marry? How are marital and non-marital relationships affected by different public policies and socio-cultural values? Should married couples be allowed to divorce? How has the law responded to changes in our psychological understanding of adult-to-adult and adult-to-child relationships? What are the historical, constitutional, common law, and statutory antecedents of contemporary notions of “family privacy,” “parental autonomy,” “parens patriae,” and a child's “best interests”? Should children have legal rights, and, if so, rights to what and against whom? How does the State determine the legal parentage of children? When should the State intervene in families to protect children against abusive or neglectful parents? Should public policy on behalf of neglected children focus on preservation of their original families or on expediting their permanent adoptive placement? These and similar questions will be explored through a variety of readings in law and the social sciences. 

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.