In re Bates & In re Dailey

In these two separate but similar cases, Michigan trial courts terminated the parental rights of a mother and a father, respectively, despite the availability of alternative remedies that could have preserved their children’s relationship with them.

In each case, Juvenile Law Center, joined by American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, Children’s Rights, Detroit Justice Center, and National Center for Youth Law, filed an amicus brief in the Michigan Supreme Court, urging the Court to reverse the decision of the trial court. Our brief argued that termination of parental rights inflicts significant emotional and psychological harm on children, and that kinship and guardianship placements preserve familial connections and provide a less restrictive alternative to termination. Our brief further argued that termination of parental rights must pass strict scrutiny because the deprivation of the fundamental right to family integrity is disproportionately imposed on Black, Latinx, and Indigenous children and termination without considering alternatives perpetuates the racist origins of the child welfare system.



Courtney Alexander, Marsha Levick, Riya Saha Shah


Tiffany Faith, Marissa Lariviere