S.C. v. StateAnnotate this Case
Child was removed from his home by the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS). The juvenile court later terminated Mother's parental rights. Subsequently, both the child's grandmother and foster parents filed competing petitions to adopt Child. The juvenile court granted procedural priority to Foster Parents and dismissed Grandmother's petition without first holding a hearing to consider the merits of her petition. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Grandmother preserved her claim to a hearing on the merits of her petition for relief; and (2) to properly evaluate the best interests of a child, courts must hold a hearing on the merits of competing adoption petitions, and accordingly, that the juvenile court erred in prioritizing Foster Parents' adoption petition and dismissing Grandmother's petition without first holding a hearing on its merits. Remanded.