Siblings' Rights to Visitation Post-Adoption.
Meza, Esther Denise.
Seton Hall University
Published: May 2014
Law School Student Scholarship
Vol. 529 Seton Hall Univ. School of Law
One Newark Center
Newark, NJ 07102-5210
Tel: (973) 642-8880
This paper considers the rights of children in the New Jersey foster care system to continued contact post adoption with their siblings who might also be in a foster care placement, "aged out", or already reached the age of majority at the time of the State's intervention. It looks at both past and recent New Jersey case law, U.S. Supreme Court decisions as well as some of the constitutional arguments posited in support of sibling relationships in the post adoption context. The paper concludes that despite the currently recognized importance of sibling relationships by the social scientists, State and federal legislatures, and courts all over the United States, and the lasting negative effects associated with their loss, children in foster care are often separated while in placement and permanently after they have been adopted. It finds that even with the enactment of statutes on both the State and federal levels requiring that reasonable efforts are made to place siblings together during their stay in out-of-placements, less than 50% of children who also have siblings living in foster care are placed with their siblings. The need for the preservation of sibling bonds to be addressed through State legislation is emphasized. 101 references.
adopted children; siblings; sibling relationships; sibling visits; post adoption contact; separation; childrens rights; child advocacy; court litigation