Representative Tim Cosgrove spoke following the vote, "It simply isn't right to force a child to look at a parent who they love, but who has hurt them, and force them to relive horrific trauma. This bill does not end up protecting families, but inadvertently protects individuals who are accused of abuses so egregious that their children have been taken away. I cannot see how this is a step in the right direction."
Currently, the process to review and terminate parental rights goes through the juvenile court system and is conducted by judges educated in issues that are common to families in which abuse occurs. Representative Cosgrove again, "There are other alternatives, better alternatives, like the benefits of a family court, that can shield children already struggling with the difficult lives they have led. This is not the answer to protect our vulnerable and youngest victims. States that have already attempted jury trials to terminate parental rights are now moving the other direction, or are finding the system extremely costly. This only allows parents more time to continue making the bad choices they have made, and keeps children in a dangerous and unsettling limbo."
House bill 318 now goes to the Senate, and will face similar scrutiny from both sides of the aisle.