In re McCarthy
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Court: Michigan Supreme Court
Topic: Older Foster Youth and the Termination of Parental Rights
Termination of a parent’s rights deeply affects the lives of older youth in foster care, yet their voices frequently remain unheard in the course of such proceedings. Older foster youth experience a higher likelihood that they will “age out” of the system without a permanent living arrangement in place, and are therefore more likely to encounter issues such as poor mental health, substance abuse, physical abuse, homelessness, poverty, and inadequate educational and employment opportunities upon exiting the foster care system. This brief argues that it is in children’s best interest to require courts to explicitly consider the views of children before terminating their parents’ rights and to find that compelling reasons not to terminate parental rights exist where a child, aged 14 years or older, does not want to be adopted and objects to the termination of parental rights.
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