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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article introduces The Oxford Handbook of Children and the Law. This volume of collected essays by many of the world’s leading scholars of child welfare and law combines thorough research on a comprehensive range of legal issues salient in children’s lives with sophisticated theoretical and policy analysis of the law, informed by current empirical research on child development and welfare. The Handbook’s organization follows the life of a child, more or less chronologically, from prebirth to adolescence and a sequence of ever-widening social spheres—from the womb to family to society to the world. The topics range from assisted reproduction, protection of fetuses, parentage, child maltreatment, medical care, education, custody disputes, children’s privacy, delinquency, minimum age laws, and strategies for advocating for youths. There is also substantial geographic breadth; the authors of the volume’s chapters represent four continents and roughly a dozen countries. A unifying feature of the volume is that all chapters put children at the center of attention. The authors write about topics relating to children from within their respective areas of expertise and offer a perspective that focuses first and foremost on how the law impacts children’s wellbeing and experience of life. This often produces unfamiliar, thought-provoking conclusions.

Keywords: assisted reproduction, adoption, schooling, special education, child custody, child maltreatment, foster care, juvenile delinquency, children’s rights, child advocacy

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