Hiding The Happy


Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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14 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy says:


    Do you think this is wrong?Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Kazzy says:

      Lemme make one of my, “I don’t want to speak for this person, but Imma gonna guess because that’s who I am” comments.

      Burt probably feels like it’s necessary for it to be this way, and feels that it’s an important bit of data that most people don’t realize, because their only intersections with the courts are unhappy.

      “Hey, remember they do good stuff, too! They just can’t toot their horn about it!”Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

        I wanna play, too. It’s one of my favorite games…

        I’d say it’s more like Burt is merely observing that most everything that happens in court which is accessible to the public (and himself as a lawyer) is shitty, while the one happy thing is hidden.Report

      • I think that adoptions should be public unless the petitioner requests in advance that it not be.

        Yes, I wish that both the public could see that the courts do “happy” things.

        The need for confidentiality in adoptions has long since gone; our society has long ago abolished the stigma formerly associated with children born out of wedlock. Now, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t consider the idea of a child entering a family as a happy and joyful event. There is nothing shameful to either the child or the family about this. If there is a need for discretion, that can be accomodated by special request.

        What’s more, adoption is legally, socially, and publicly significant. The adoptive parents become just that: parents. They have responsibilities to their child and are held out to the world as having those responsibilities. As such, it is an act with public ramifications. If name changes are done in public proceedings (and they are) then a determination of which parents are responsible for which children is a public act as well.

        I think the court should celebrate adoptions. I’d like it if right the front wall right when I came in, there were a bulliten board saying “The Superior Court and its staff congratulate the following new families on their recent adoptions!” with pictures of the smiling parents and happy kids from all of last month’s adoptions. That would be a heartwarming thing to see and a little reminder to the public that good things do happen in courthouses.Report

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