Determining the Best Interests of the Child: Summary of State Laws
Child Welfare Information Gateway, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC: Child Welfare Information Gateway, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
July 2005, pages
Whenever a court must make a determination as to the custody and/or placement of a child, or must decide on a petition for termination of parental rights, the court must weigh whether that decision will be in the best interests of the child. "Best interests of the child" generally refers to the deliberation that courts undertake when deciding who is best suited to take care of a child. This database includes each state's statutes for addressing this issue.