Part One of this Article further examines those moral, factual and legal dynamics in the family that make these cases so difficult. Part Two summarizes the present state of the law, and demonstrates precisely where and why the current legal approach is falling short. I will show how the law specifically fails to adequately define the rights of parents, substantively as well as procedurally and, I will furthermore demonstrate how, in their current forms, the doctrines of parental autonomy and the best interests of the child are far too broad and too rigid for many cases involving the parent-child relationship. Finally, Part Three advances an original and more just constitutional analysis for examining the parent-child relationship. In short, under this approach the best aspects of both the doctrines of parental autonomy and the best interests of the child are incorporated into one, more comprehensive and more cohesive, analysis.
James A. Cosby, How Parents and Children Disappear in Our Courts - And Why It Need Not Ever Happen Again, 53 Clev. St. L. Rev. 285 (2005-2006)