Child Maltreatment and the Law: Returning to First by Roger J.R. Levesque

By Roger J.R. Levesque

Fueled by way of a constant narrative and a lucid moral stance, this publication analyzes the expanding position felony platforms play in family members existence and lines speedily evolving criminal innovations as they practice to baby protection.

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When the child was older than 2 years of age, the stepfather, unbeknownst to the natural father, petitioned to adopt the child. The natural father filed a paternity action in another county. Meanwhile, the adoption court ordered the adoption after searching the registry and finding no one listed. Only then did the father learn of the adoption petition. He petitioned to stop the adoption pending the determination of his paternity action, but the court denied his claim because it had already ordered the adoption.

The state’s parens patriae and police powers provide powerful and legitimate reasons for intervention. The intervention may be in children’s interests, but it does not mean that those interests, or children’s own individual interests, for that matter, should control the outcome of specific situations. Having determined that parents have the right to control their 32 2 Families, Child Welfare, and the Constitution families and now having determined that the state may intervene and take over that control when parents fail still leaves us with considerable terrain to cover.

Baird (1979). Bellotti involved a class action challenge to Massachusetts’ abortion law that prohibited an unmarried minor from obtaining an abortion without the consent of both parents. If the parents refused to give consent, the minor could seek permission from a judge who may give his consent “for good cause shown” (Bellotti v. Baird, 1979, p. 625). In this landmark decision, the Court recognized the right of mature minors to make medical decisions absent parental input. Under Bellotti and its progeny, minors are able to consent to an abortion without “blanket” parental involvement because a state may Justifying State Intervention in Families 29 not grant a third-person absolute veto power over a patient’s abortion decision.

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