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The Best Interests Of The Child

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Chapter Summary

U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been delayed because of opposition from domestic constituencies that fear it may erode U.S. sovereignty and the long-recognized power of parents and guardians to decide what is best for their children. The Convention enshrines the principle that the best interests of the child should guide decisions in respect of children's rights and welfare in several places. The best interests of the child have been a guiding principle in U.S. law for more than 125 years. Prior to the existence of the states of North and South Dakota, the Code for their predecessor territory invoked the best interests of the child in 1877 as a factor for a court to consider when deciding whether and to whom to award custody or guardianship of a child.

Keywords: best interests of the child; children's rights; guardians; parents; U.S. ratification



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