Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Child Protective Services to Investigate Balloon Boy's Home



The media coverage of the Heene Family (of Wife Swap fame) continues endlessly, even more so now that the adrift balloon once suspected of carrying six-year-old Falcon Heene has been declared a hoax.  Among the many questions being asked is whether Child Protective Services should investigate the Heene home.  This, in turn, raises the ageless question of when the threshold for such intervention has been established, implicating the tension between intervening too frequently and failing to intervene when intervention is needed.  Of course, the answer must carefully consider the very strong autonomy and privacy rights of the parents, the interests of the children (which often may be to remain free of intervention), and the very limited number of alternatives—particularly for a set of three siblings.               


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Although Mr. Heene appears to be somewhat "out there" and prepared to go the limits for a little publicity, at this point I don't know why he would be considered unfit as a parent. I'm assuming there is some evidence of either negligence or abuse to trigger the questioning of whether CPS should get involved.

Posted by: Natalie | Oct 20, 2009 2:18:33 PM

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