GPO-CONAN-2017-10-15.pdf

Pro motion of adoption of illegitimates and their

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between the classification and some important state interest. Pro- motion of adoption of illegitimates and their consequent legitima- tion was important, but the assumption that all unwed fathers ei- ther stood in a different relationship to their children than did the unwed mother or that the difficulty of finding the fathers would un- reasonably burden the adoption process was overbroad, as the facts of the case revealed. No barrier existed to the state dispensing with consent when the father or his location is unknown, but disqualifi- cation of all unwed fathers may not be used as a shorthand for that step. 1910 On the other hand, the Court sustained a Georgia statute that permitted the mother of an illegitimate child to sue for the wrong- ful death of the child but that allowed the father to sue only if he had legitimated the child and there is no mother. 1911 Similarly, the Court let stand, under the Fifth Amendment, a federal statute that required that, in order for an illegitimate child born overseas to gain citizenship, a citizen father, unlike a citizen mother, must acknowl- that will justify discriminations that are subject to heightened scrutiny . . . , but the requisite showing has not been made here by the mere claim that it would be inconvenient to individualize determinations about widows as well as widowers.” Jus- tice Stevens apparently would demand a factual showing of substantial savings. Califano v. Goldfarb, 430 U.S. 199, 219 (1977) (concurring). 1910 Caban v. Mohammed, 441 U.S. 380 (1979). Four Justices dissented. Id. at 394 (Justice Stewart), 401 (Justices Stevens and Rehnquist and Chief Justice Burger). For the conceptually different problem of classification between different groups of women on the basis of marriage or absence of marriage to a wage earner, see Califano v. Boles, 443 U.S. 282 (1979). 1911 Parham v. Hughes, 441 U.S. 347, 361 (1979). There was no opinion of the Court, but both opinions making up the result emphasized that the objective of the state—to avoid difficulties in proving paternity—was an important one and was ad- vanced by the classification. The plurality opinion determined that the statute did not invidiously discriminate against men as a class; it was no overbroad generaliza- tion but proceeded from the fact that only men could legitimate children by unilat- eral action. The sexes were not similarly situated, therefore, and the classification recognized that. As a result, all that was required was that the means be a rational way of dealing with the problem of proving paternity. Id. at 353–58. Justice Powell found the statute valid because the sex-based classification was substantially re- lated to the objective of avoiding problems of proof in proving paternity. He also emphasized that the father had it within his power to remove the bar by legitimat- ing the child. Id. at 359. Justices White, Brennan, Marshall, and Blackmun, who had been in the majority in Caban , dissented.
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