Nye v. Marcus

In Nye v. Marcus, 198 Conn. 138, 502 A.2d 869 (1985), the plaintiff foster parents appealed from the judgment of the trial court, claiming that the court improperly quashed their habeas corpus petition on the ground that they lacked standing as foster parents to bring that action. Id., at 139. The foster parents argued that their interest in protecting their foster parent relationship with the child was sufficient to grant them standing. 198 Conn. at 142. In addressing that claim, our Supreme Court noted that the plaintiffs' argument was based on their emotional relationship with the child as opposed to a biological or legal guardian relationship. 198 Conn. at 143. The court proceeded to distinguish the rights of foster and biological families. It stated that "foster families differ from biological families in that they have their source in state law and contractual arrangements. . . . Foster families do not have the same rights as biological families or adoptive families. Rather, the expectations and entitlements of foster families can be limited by the state. . . . Biological and adoptive families have a liberty interest in the integrity of their family unit which is part of the fourteenth amendment's right to familial privacy. . . . Foster care arrangements of the nature and duration considered in the present case do not have this constitutionally protected liberty interest." 198 Conn. at 143-44. The Nye court continued, stating that "the plaintiffs had no basis for a justifiable expectation that their relationship with the foster child would be anything but temporary. . . . We hold, therefore, that under these circumstances the plaintiffs do not have standing as foster parents to assert their own interest in the maintenance of their family relationship with the foster child. They do not have a liberty interest and their emotional relationship with the child, which was acquired through the temporary foster placement, is too tenuous a basis to afford standing to institute a habeas corpus proceeding against the child's statutory parent and legal guardian." (Citation omitted.) Id., at 144.