Friday, October 2, 2009

Terminating Parental Rights

“If it comes to a point that the family is so toxic for the child that termination of parental rights and staying in foster care (thus making the child free to be adopted) is in the child’s best interest, I don’t have a problem with it at all. Why would I want to keep a connection between a toxic parent and a child?” This is one judge’s comment in a recent Brief by Child Trends a research organization based in Washington D.C. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it. Yet often it seems that judges are loathe to terminate parental rights. Is this because of a belief that it is a right to raise a child any way a parent sees fit?

What advice would you give the judiciary in helping them to decide when it’s appropriate to terminate the parental rights of a child? Is it ever appropriate or not appropriate? Would it help more children to be adopted rather then continue to languish in foster care while waiting for their biological parents to “get their act together?”

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