The Child Protection Pretense: States' Continued Consignment of Newborn Babies to Unfit Parents

87 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2010 Last revised: 7 Apr 2014

Date Written: November 5, 2010

Abstract

Major federal legislation of the past decade and a half embodied a philosophical shift away from trying to salvage grossly unfit parents and toward ensuring children good families before they incur permanently damaging abuse, neglect, or foster care drift. That legislation has created a widespread perception that the state is now more proactive in preventing child maltreatment. This Article explains why that perception is false and what further reforms are needed to give children the protection they deserve from unfit parents, beginning at birth. The Article integrates moral and political theory, extensive social science research, and a canvassing of state and federal child protection law in order to mount a compelling and novel indictment of the current child protection system and to advance bold proposals for making child protection a reality rather than a pretense.

Suggested Citation

Dwyer, James Gerard, The Child Protection Pretense: States' Continued Consignment of Newborn Babies to Unfit Parents (November 5, 2010). Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 93, 2008; William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-57. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1703586

James Gerard Dwyer (Contact Author)

William & Mary Law School ( email )

South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law2.wm.edu/faculty/bios/fulltime/dwyer-648.php

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