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Minnesota professor defends children's rights

A professor from the University of Minnesota recently stated that family law often does not do much to protect the relationships between siblings. In fact, the professor went so far as to say that the law actually permits families to tear siblings apart after a divorce or the death of a parent, arguing that more should be done to allow these siblings to be connected, regardless of the child custody situation.

The professor gave an example of a brother and sister who went through this exact situation. They originally lived with their mother, and they were then moved into foster care. They continued to live together. When the girl turned 13 and the boy was just 6, he was adopted. His sister was not, but she was transferred to a foster care home in a different location.

The girl never got to see her brother again. Despite their relationship, the foster care workers could not tell her where her brother was without the express permission of the parents. They did try to get in touch with those parents, but they never got a response. The girl said that this was incredibly hard for her, and that it was something that crossed her mind each and every day. She said that the pain she felt over losing her brother forever – she had not even been told if his name was changed – was especially bad every year when she got to his birthday.

This story really does expose a problem with the foster care system in Minnesota and elsewhere. Those who are considering getting custody of children through adoption should know what rights the children will have, how the law works and what is really best for them going forward.

Source: Source: Slate, "Family Law Should Protect Sibling Relationships," Jill Elaine Hasday, July 8, 2014

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