cover of book

What's Wrong with Children's Rights
by Martin Guggenheim
Harvard University Press, 2007
Paper: 978-0-674-02546-2 | eISBN: 978-0-674-03802-8 | Cloth: 978-0-674-01721-4
Library of Congress Classification HQ789.G78 2005
Dewey Decimal Classification 323.3520973


"Children's rights": the phrase has been a legal battle cry for twenty-five years. But as this provocative book by a nationally renowned expert on children's legal standing argues, it is neither possible nor desirable to isolate children from the interests of their parents, or those of society as a whole.

From foster care to adoption to visitation rights and beyond, Martin Guggenheim offers a trenchant analysis of the most significant debates in the children's rights movement, particularly those that treat children's interests as antagonistic to those of their parents. Guggenheim argues that "children's rights" can serve as a screen for the interests of adults, who may have more to gain than the children for whom they claim to speak. More important, this book suggests that children's interests are not the only ones or the primary ones to which adults should attend, and that a "best interests of the child" standard often fails as a meaningful test for determining how best to decide disputes about children.

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