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Parental Fitness Assumption - Research Paper Example

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Summary
This research paper discusses the parental fitness assumption and how it was exercised in several major cases involved child custody. Parental fitness is at the heart of the child custody inquiry, and the notion of ‘fitness’ here is based on the traditional views of heterosexual marriage and self-sacrificing parents as society’s legal groundwork…
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Parental Fitness Assumption
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Parental Fitness Assumption

Download file to see previous pages... Proofs of being an unfit parent could be a basis for removing the parental rights to other children although the parent did not maltreat or abandon those children (Casenotes, 2007). The decisive factor is always the child’s best interest. However, in custody cases, favor is granted to adoptive and biological parents. Courts take into consideration issue like the child’s special needs, the involvement of the parent in the child’s development, the parent’s capacity to financially support the child, and the nature of the relationship between the parent and the child (Weisberg, 2008). Trial courts are mandated to evaluate and make correct decisions based on these aspects. There are several major cases that involve parental fitness assumption. In Bailes v. Sours, the biological mother and the stepmother of the child, Michael Sean Sours, fought for custody. The court decided to grant custody to the stepmother on the basis of ‘extraordinary circumstances’, since the child prefers to be with her stepmother and the circumstances, particularly the death of the father, affirm the assumption that the child should stay with his stepmother (Casenotes, 2007). In Troxel v. Granville, the paternal grandparents legally requested rights to visit their granddaughters. The court granted the request, but the mother protested that the decision was unconstitutional (Casenotes, 2007). In Pierce v. Society of Sisters two private schools were granted a restraining order disallowing the implementation of the Oregon Act which obliged the guardians and parents from enrolling their children in public schools. The 14th Amendment protects the right...
This essay approves that the court will usually grant exclusive custody to one parent when the other parent is judged to be unfit, or if both parents are found to be unfit the child will brought to foster care. Proofs of being an unfit parent could be a basis for removing the parental rights to other children although the parent did not maltreat or abandon those children. The decisive factor is always the child’s best interest. However, in custody cases, favor is granted to adoptive and biological parents. Courts take into consideration issue like the child’s special needs, the involvement of the parent in the child’s development, the parent’s capacity to financially support the child, and the nature of the relationship between the parent and the child. Trial courts are mandated to evaluate and make correct decisions based on these aspects. There are several major cases that involve parental fitness assumption. In Bailes v. Sours, the biological mother and the stepmother of the child, Michael Sean Sours, fought for custody. The court decided to grant custody to the stepmother on the basis of ‘extraordinary circumstances’, since the child prefers to be with her stepmother and the circumstances, particularly the death of the father, affirm the assumption that the child should stay with his stepmother.
This report makes a conclusion that in child custody cases, the fitness of a parent is the main determining factor. Preference is given to the biological parents. The cases that were briefly discussed demonstrate how some states exercised the parent fitness assumption. There are numerous factors taken into account when determining the fitness of a parent, and judges make sure that they analyze these factors thoroughly and fairly. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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