Custody and Access Decision-Making and the Breastfeeding Child (Case Comment re Cavannah v. Johne)
Canadian Journal of Family Law, Vol. 25, pp. 133-153, 2009
Posted: 1 Oct 2010
Date Written: 2009
As an increasing number of fathers seek access to their very young children, how the court addresses the breastfeeding relationship between mother and child has become a critical factor in the best interests of the child analysis. This comment addresses how courts should deal with access to a breastfeeding child, using the recent Ontario Superior Court decision of Cavannah v. Johne as a starting point. The comment considers how the courts should approach the issue, addressing the challenges raised by both breastfeeding infants as well as toddlers who are engaged in extended breastfeeding. Ultimately, this comment argues that in order to protect the needs of the breastfeeding child and ensure some consistency in the law, the court might best address the issue via both judicial education and the inclusion of breastfeeding as an element in the best interests of the child test.
Keywords: child custody law, infants, breastfeeding, access to children
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