Child Abuse, the Constitution, and the Legacy of Pierce V. Society of Sisters
Posted: 2 Apr 2002
This essay investigates the negative impact of Pierce v. Society of Sisters in perpetuating an adult-centric model of family rights that treats children as property of adults. This essay looks at cases which illustrate how family autonomy and family privacy, when used in the name of protection from state intervention, may often place children at risk of abuse. Woodhouse contends that when children are abused, or not protected by their parents, the fiction of family unity becomes a dangerous one, and that Pierce, in constitutionalizing rights of the parents, obstructs the development of a modern theory of children's rights and ignores the realities of children's lives.
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