By Inna G. Materese | Esquire

Courts and legislatures across the country are grappling with the question of what to do when the parent seeking custody has committed an egregious act in the conception or birth of that child. 

In Maryland this week, a legislative bill that would prevent a man who impregnated a woman through rape from seeking custody of the child conceived and born of the rape has fizzled out. The bill, which had support on both sides of the political isle and the state's governor, lost traction and left Maryland as one of a handful of states without such legislation. In another state, Washington, a 19 woman who threw her newborn child into a trash compactor is "on track" to regain custody rights of her son. After receiving a six-month sentence for felony abandonment, she was recently awarded supervised visitation with the child and is expected to see her time increase if she continues to follow the court's instructions. 

These shocking circumstances beg the question: In these drastic situations, what is really in the best interest of the child?