Natural Parent Presumptions

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Topics: Parent
Introduction –
The concept of the traditional family has undergone considerable transformations, due to technological developments in reproductive technology and the emergence of a variety of social factors such as an increase in births from unmarried parents, an escalation in family breakdown and the surfacing of alternative parental partnerships and parent-child relationships. Most notably, this has created uncertainty and incongruity in regards to the importance given to the link between a child and a natural parent in parental disputes concerning the upbringing of children, known as private law cases. This essay will assess this essential ambivalence rooted in the law through an account of the traditional view on the natural parent presumption,
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It must be conceded that there is a range of interests at stake in decisions of this nature and perhaps the courts should hear and consider the needs and interests of all family members . Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to predict how adequately the parties will act and there is an evident discrepancy in the values of what constitutes an ideal reasonable parental figure. The principle has been criticised for the general uncertainty it fosters; courts have the ultimate power to decide what is in the child’s welfare . As established earlier, the natural parent presumption has not been formally acknowledged, however if it were it could constitute one of many alternatives to the principle of child welfare. But ultimately, presumptions are based on assumptions of what is considered to be good for families in general, and as mentioned previously each case has its particular set of unusual circumstances. Moreover, this uncertainty can be appreciated as a strength, responding to the individual needs of each child . The welfare principle recognises the children’s vulnerability and reminds separated parents to place their child’s needs above their own . If it so happens that the child is in need of being under the primary care of his or her natural parent then the court will reach a verdict accordingly but ultimately the child has fewer resources, material psychological and relational , than adults and his welfare therefore appears to be child law’s paramount

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