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Twigg v. Mays


The ruling was one of a series of Florida cases testing children's legal rights. Despite the several decisions made through the 1990s, children's rights remained poorly defined and the subject of much controversy. While this decision supported "the best interest of the child" principle and found in favor of what was considered best for Kimberly Mays, other decisions in the early 1990s were still favoring the rights of biological parents over the best interests of the children where they conflicted. Such contradictory rulings created uncertainty over the rights of biological parents and children's rights.

The emerging legal clout of children, particularly those not in state custody and stuck in abusive situations and with no adult advocates, became increasingly examined in 1980s. Issues included the right of juveniles to hire attorneys and file motions on their own behalf.

Florida, known for its retirement communities, became a stage for a series of cases focused on children's legal rights. In the 1989 case of a pregnant 15-year-old Lake County girl seeking an abortion without parental consent, the Florida Supreme Court ruled a child enjoys the same constitutional right to privacy as an adult. In 1992, Gregory Kingsley, an 11-year-old boy, sued the state and his biological parents seeking permission to be adopted by the family of George Russ. An Orlando judge in 1993 dissolved the rights of Gregory's biological mother after finding her unfit, thus granting Gregory a divorce from his biological parents.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994Twigg v. Mays - Significance, Switched At Birth, The Rights Of A Child, Impact, Child Emancipation