Should Termination of Parental Rights Be the Last Resort ?
In In re D.A., 113 Ohio St.3d 88, 2007 Ohio 1105, at P8, 862 N.E.2d 829, the Supreme Court of Ohio stated:
"in Troxel v. Granville (2000), 530 U.S. 57, 65, 120 S. Ct. 2054, 147 L. Ed. 2d 49, the United States Supreme Court noted that parents' interest in the care, custody, and control of their children 'is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.' the protection of the family unit has long been a paramount concern of the courts."
The Ohio Supreme Court further noted that "'(p)ermanent termination of parental rights has been described as "the family law equivalent of the death penalty in a criminal case.Therefore, parents "must be afforded every procedural and substantive protection the law allows.'" Id. at P10.
Parents' fundamental interest is not absolute. "Once a case reaches the disposition phase, the best interest of the child controls. the termination of parental rights should be an alternative of 'last resort.'" Id. at P11.