Children's Rights

ChildrensThe American Academy of Adoption Attorneys believes that children should be recognized as individuals possessed of their own interests and rights, including the right to be part of a stable and permanent family, and the right to remain part of that family once it is established with an expectation that the status will be permanent. Indeed, the Academy believes that these rights are constitutionally founded and are at the core of all liberties, for if children cannot count on the inalienable right to life and liberty in the family context, then what does our society offer them? These constitutional interests are both procedural and substantive. Therefore they should not be disturbed absent a compelling, established competing interest which is entitled to constitutional protection. Even then, if the constitutionally protected interests are in conflict and evenly balanced, the conflict should be resolved in favor of the child.

The Academy believes that from the child's perspective, the relationship with his/her adoptive family is not different from the most traditional parent-child relationships protected in the past from state interference by courts.