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Children are extremely vulnerable members of society, especially when they are involved in family court cases, such as dependency or termination of parental right's hearings. Fortunately, a growing awareness of the legal rights of children has led to children being deemed parties to these family court cases, being appointed an attorney, and being granted the right to be present and voice their opinions. However, children are still being denied the ability to take complete advantage of the rights due to them as parties to the legal proceeding, specifically the right to appeal the family court judge's order to terminate the parent's parental rights over the child. This Note argues that children should be allowed to appeal the termination order, and have that appeal be heard. It discusses how the growing recognition of children's rights is applied to children involved in family law cases, specifically termination of parental rights hearings. This Note looks more in depth at legal status of children as parties to a termination of parental rights hearing, which bestows on children numerous rights, including the right to be represented and heard in these hearings. It focuses on the right to appeal the termination order if the child desires to stay with his parents, despite what the court may have decided to be in the best interests of the child, and why being denied that right is so detrimental to the child party. This Note advocates for a simple application of statutory and case law to remedy the problem.

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Family Law Commons