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A Better Partnership
July 22, 2009

COA Opinion: Termination of Parental Rights is Only Appropriate Upon a Judicial Finding that it is in the Child's Best Interest

On July 21, 2009, the Court of Appeals published its opinion in In re Genevieve Hansen, No. 289903, affirming the termination of a father's parental rights. Notably, the Court of Appeals concluded that the although the lower court properly concluded that a statutory ground for termination existed, it erred by not also making a judicial finding regarding whether termination was in the best interest of the child. The Court of Appeals interpreted the relevant statute (MCL ' 712A.19b(5)) provided that termination can only be imposed when there is both a statutory ground for termination and where termination is in the child's best interest. Ultimately, the Court in this case concluded that the error was harmless, because the record in this case supported a finding that termination was in the child's best interest.

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