Case Study: Annette B. Is a 10-Year-Old Girl

Pages: 3 (959 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 9  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children  ·  Buy This Paper

Annette B. is a 10-year-old girl who is currently in foster care after being removed from her mother's care at the age of 8. Her foster parents are interested in adopting her an are seeking an injunction terminating her father's parental rights. Her father, Joseph, was not married to her mother and has spent most of her childhood in prison. During this time he has not contacted Annette even though there were many times that he knew of her location. Joseph is now attempting to fight the action and wishes to maintain parental rights, although is not actively seeking custody of Annette.

Parental rights are more than simply the ownership of a child. According to modern law, parental rights include:

The right to physical possession of the child; the right to inculcate in the child one's moral and ethical standards, including the right to discipline the child; the right to control and manage a minor child's earnings and property; the right to have the child bear the parent's name; the right to prevent adoption of the child without the parents' consent; the right to make decisions concerning the medical treatment, education, religious training and other activities of the minor child; and, the right to information necessary to exercise the above rights responsibly. (Hubin, 1999).

Were the circumstances different for Annette, the court's ruling would have most likely been the same. The standard for determining whether to terminate parental rights is whether it is in the child's best interest (Hasday, 2004). Annette's mother already terminated her parental rights on the grounds of neglect, which means that she was not properly taking care of her daughter (Wald, 1976). Annette's father has been in and out of prison on drug charges with no evidence citing that his situation will improve. Were Annette in a group home instead of foster care or were the foster parents not seeking custody, the outcome would most likely be the same if the case was brought to trial. The reality is that simple biological ties do not guarantee fitness for parenting, especially when the parent challenging the action has never made contact with the child (Hill, 1991). Additionally, when a father cannot bring any evidence before the court of his attempt to contact the child, the court can consider that abandonment (McCarthy, 1988). Although in reality, the case would not likely have been brought to trial as it was the adopting parents who were seeking the termination. In fact, many states do not rush to terminate parental rights unless the child is being adopted (Guggenheim, 1996).

Family law is a living, breathing area of the law that must allow for great maliability and interpretation. The reason is that every case and every child is different and the court must determine what is truly in the best interest of each child. As has been shown through judicial history,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Annette B. Is a 10-Year-Old Girl.  (2012, April 7).  Retrieved May 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/annette-b-10-year-old-girl/9094502

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"Annette B. Is a 10-Year-Old Girl."  Essaytown.com.  April 7, 2012.  Accessed May 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/annette-b-10-year-old-girl/9094502.