Twisted Interests: People in Interest of S.A.H. and the State of Open Adoptions in South Dakota

67 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2016

See all articles by Thomas Simmons

Thomas Simmons

University of South Dakota Law School

Date Written: April 15, 1997

Abstract

In People in Interest of S.A.H. (SD 1995), the South Dakota Supreme Court held that "open adoptions" (that is, post-adoption visitation rights retained by by the natural parents) could only be mandated when the court finds that it is in the best interests of the child by clear and convincing evidence. The court also instructed trial courts to weigh the needs of the child, the effect on integration with the new family, and the potential effect on the pool of other prospective adoptive parents. This decision, while initially (and briefly) securing judicial enforcement of consensual open adoptions, presents an inordinately difficult standard for mandating open adoptions.

Keywords: Open Adoptions, Individuals with Disabilities, Visitation, Parental Rights, Best Interests of the Child

JEL Classification: K17

Suggested Citation

Simmons, Thomas, Twisted Interests: People in Interest of S.A.H. and the State of Open Adoptions in South Dakota (April 15, 1997). South Dakota Law Review, Vol. 42, No. 3, 1997. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2765431

Thomas Simmons (Contact Author)

University of South Dakota Law School ( email )

414 E. Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
United States
605.677.3960 (Phone)
605.677.5417 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.usd.edu/faculty-and-staff/Tom-E-Simmons

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