The rules-based solution
The law is supported by ethics in this case. The child was taken from the parents’ custody due to their inability to care properly for the child while afflicted with addiction. Beings a child is unable to make clear decisions and not able to completely realize the effects of actions and choices adults/guardians make the choices for them. In the beginning of the scenario, the child was too young to decide that she needed to be extracted from her parents’ care so the court took her and placed her in a foster home with foster parents which by the nature of design is not meant to be a full blown adoption. The foster system is set up to be a temporary facilitation for kids in need. Once the parents were free of their addictions and could show that they were prepared to fulfill their role as parents they should be given the parental control over the daughter ...view middle of the document...
To take the girl away from the only family that she has known and place her with who would be, in her eyes, her complete strangers would tear this girl’s world up and could potentially cause a large variety of psychological harm. The girl is in a stable and healthy home where reciprocated love is given. The devastation that would potentially be created to not only the girl, but the foster parents who have put such time, love, and efforts into raising this little girl for all these years is far greater than the benefits of placing her back with her birth parents simply because they have kicked an addiction.
The two solutions given have very different viewpoints depending on which school of ethics you are applying. With the Rules based, the emphasis is not about how it will affect the child psychologically, but rather on can the natural parents now resume their responsibility. Do the foster parents have a legal standing to try and maintain parental rights beings the intent of the foster system is not specifically a permanent home like the adoption system is. The ends-based evaluates what is the likely effect on the girl’s life if take away from the only family she is known and does the potential negatives outweigh the positives of putting her with the natural parents.
Real life dilemmas
I believe that both schools have valid viewpoints that should be considered. Ethics is not a one size fits all methodology, and each situation needs to be evaluated individually. Rules-based is the most solid school of ethics to lean on in my view, as it allows you to lay a solid foundation if you take a hard reflective look at your core values and moral beliefs. Rules-based, however, is not an all-encompassing solution and ends-based is a good way to resolve the issues that rules-based can’t quite cover. If both decisions fall within the parameters of right then which seems most likely to have the most positive effects on those involved. I don’t believe any school of ethics can truly stand all on its own and be complete.