COMMENT: INVOLUNTARY TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS IN LOUISIANA: UNRAVELLING THE STATUTE. Skip over navigation
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Copyright Tulane University 1984.

Tulane Law Review

COMMENT: INVOLUNTARY TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS IN LOUISIANA: UNRAVELLING THE STATUTE.

March, 1984

58 Tul. L. Rev. 1045

Author

WENDY SCHORNSTEIN GOOD

Excerpt

Termination of parental rights means the end of all rights that a parent has in his or her own child. Upon termination, a parent irrevocably surrenders his interest in the maintenance and custody of the child. 1 The premanency and completeness of termination make it the most severe consequence of a public intrusion into the parent-child relationship. It constitutes a direct interference by the state with the family's constitutionally protected right to privacy and the parents' constitutionally protected right to raise their children in a manner freely chosen. It also has profound sociological, psychological, and legal effects on the children involved.

In Louisiana, as in all states, parents' rights in their children may be terminated without the parents' consent under certain circumstances. 2 The Louisiana termination statute, contained in sections 13:1600 through 13:1604 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes, was enacted almost a decade ago and has been amended as recently as 1982. However, as of this writing, there is only one reported case on termination of parental rights under the statute. 3

This dearth of reported cases is probably an indication that the statute is rarely used because it is so restrictive that it cannot meet its purported purpose. There is thus a danger that the statute might be used improperly by attorneys and judges, or that it might not be used at all when termination is, in fact, warranted. An understanding of what the statute says, what it lacks, and how it relates to several other Louisiana statutes ...
 
 
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