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Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

Abstract

Part I of this Note discusses the relevant history surrounding the Troxel decision and its aftermath. Specifically, it traces the historical development of the parent-centered approach, criticism and ultimate legal backlash in support of a functional caregiving model, Troxel‘s ambiguous reaffirmation of parents‘ rights, and the varied state attempts to apply this constitutional standard. Part II analyzes the states‘ varied jurisdictional approaches in applying Troxel and demonstrates how they relate to functional theories of caregiving. Finally, Part III proposes that the law needs to do a better job of recognizing the importance of functional caregiving networks in the context of third party visitation laws. In order to achieve this objective, the Supreme Court should revisit its initial holding in Troxel.

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