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Increasing recognition of different family structures has posed dilemmas for family law and policy throughout the world. The problem often takes the form of conflicts between constitutional law or international human rights norms and between traditional forms of family association and emerging new forms of familial living. In this volume,leading family lawyers chart and analyse how family law in countries with a wide variety of different backgrounds has responded to these problems. Divided into six parts, the book examines the social and demographic context, the dynamics of legal assimilation of changes in social norms, the State and pluralism, the constitutionalisation of family law, social and natural parenthood and the reconciliation of changing norms and changing family forms. In doing this it provides many insights into the differences and similarities between developments in western and non-western countries and the ways in which all systems seek to reconcile official law and ideology with social behaviour.