Since the early 1970s the well-being of foster children has been the subject of increased attention. Legislation has advanced the protection of the foster child, while the courts have begun to emphasize the child's best interests in determining whether parental rights to custody should be terminated and the child freed for adoption. Early decisions had stressed the rights of the natural parents, often to the exclusion of the child's welfare. Recent legislation and judicial decisions indicate that parental rights will be terminated where the best interests of the child so require. Recent decisions and statutes have clarified the rights of parties in abandonment, permanent neglect, and adoption proceedings, and have expanded the rights of putative fathers. This Article will examine New York's permanent neglect statute as a means of terminating the custodial rights of natural parents to free children for adoption.

Included in

Family Law Commons