The name of the case i chose is Matter of Marian T. (Lauren R.). This took place on October 14th, 2020. The case is about the adoption of an adult woman who is not capable of giving consent to the adoption due to her disability. This action has worked its way to the court of appeals where the video us taken. The lower courts ruled that Marian did not have the mental faculties to give consent. Caitlin Brennan, council, said that whether or not she has that capacity is not one of the issues they want to bring before the court. The judges however want to press the issue. In a lower court, Dr. Fox tried to argue that while Marian lacks the mental capacity to consent to medical procedures, she is capable of giving consent for other things. However, the lower courts moved on to seemingly agree that Marian lacked the capacity to give consent to adoption. Caitlin Brennan takes the position that the petition made can not go forward due to Marians inability to give consent. The lawyer for the opposition says that Marian can be autonomous and provide consent just not in a conventional “legal” way as we understand it. He also claims Marian can consent nonverbally. Caitlin continues to argue that Marian is an adult not and underage adoptee with the same rights and interests as other adults that must be protected. She continues that nobody should be able to impose a new family structure on her due to her inability to consent.
While watching the case i felt as though the judges were being rather hard on her with their line of questioning. While Caitlin was providing information and citing what statute allows for people to withdraw their ability to consent, one judge quipped and “we would be defining the statute in a way you would disagree with” which i did not think was a good use of court time. I also felt that their line of questioning was pointless, it felt as if a bunch of “what ifs” were being asked for the sake of fun instead of dealing with the case at hand. I personally found Caitlin Brennan’s argument more persuasive. Not only did the lower courts support the opinion but she also had health experts and the legal guardian agree that Marian can not give consent. One thing i did not understand during the hearing was the term “red light”. The judge used that to stop Caitlin from speaking. The term “best interest of the child” also gets tosses around and they don’t really elaborate on it beyond it needing to be decided with discretion.