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Tracing the Foundations of the Best Interests of the Child

Tracing the Foundations of the Best Interests of the Child

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Published by: LegalDoomUT on Sep 12, 2010
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10/31/2011

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The application and use of the BIC doctrine over the course of American
jurisprudential history is evident in its careful development over the growth of the
nation’s laws. Rather than being a recent legal phenomenon of the past few
decades, the doctrine has been developed and rooted in American family law
jurisprudence for the past two hundred years. Though sparks of the BIC doctrine
began in natural law and influenced the common law in England, the standard is an
American-grown concept. Begun in case law and fostered in the soil of judicial
responsibility, it has been thoroughly sown into the fields of American family law
jurisprudence through statutes as well. May that sense of judicial responsibility be
edified by the discussion undertaken by this article. It is an attempt to offer an
opportunity for judicial reflection and a renewed vision for a future that truly seeks
to uphold the best interests of a child.
The BIC doctrine has indeed dramatically influenced family law
jurisprudence not only in America but globally as well, and that has had a dramatic
effect on the family. This article still does not presume to know what the best
interests of the child really are, but rather has illuminated the foundations of a
doctrine rooted in parental protection and manifested in a legal standard regarding
children to assist judicial decision-making for what is “best for a child.”

Ex parte G.C. Jr., 924 So. 2d 651, 685 (Ala. 2005).

254

WARDLE & NOLAN, supra note 62, at 866.

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