“The best interests of the child,” a venerable phrase familiar from divorce proceedings, is a proper and feasible criterion for making the decision as to which of two parents will be accorded custody. But it is not traditionally the sole criterion-much less the sole constitutional criterion-for other, less narrowly channeled judgments involving children, where their interests conflict in varying degrees with the interests of others.
“The best interests of the child” is not the legal standard that governs parents’ or guardians’ exercise of their custody: So long as certain minimum requirements of child care are met, the interests of the child may be subordinated to the interests of other children, or indeed even to the interests of the parents or guardians themselves.
– Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292 (1993) – United States Supreme Court
It is time we remove this nonsense from state legislatures and codify parental rights and do away with “best interest of the child” in the same way, “tender year’s doctrine” was done away. It is time to make a stand on civil rights of parents and children.