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Shanta Trivedi

Assistant Professor of Law, University of Baltimore
Faculty Director, Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts
Areas of Expertise:

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About Shanta

Trivedi's research focuses primarily on the child welfare or family policing system. Overarching themes in Trivedi's writings include how intervention detrimentally impacts families, primarily those who are low-income, minorities and otherwise marginalized, the harm that removing children from their parents causes to children, parents and communities and family policing as punishment. Trivedi serves as the co-chair of the Family Law Scholars and Teachers Conference and is on the Board of the Maryland Child Alliance.

In the News

Quoted by Dylan Segelbaum in "‘Parental Accountability’: Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates’ Plan Has Potential Pitfalls," The Baltimore Banner, April 22, 2024.
Opinion: "Ivan Bates’ Cruel Threat to Charge Parents When Children Arrested," Shanta Trivedi (with Aubrey Edwards-Luce), The Baltimore Banner, April 15, 2024.
Quoted by Clara Longo de Freitas in "Under New Law, State Can’t Take Kids Away Solely for Parental Cannabis Use," The Baltimore Banner, August 22, 2023.
Opinion: "Caring for Children by Punishing Parents," Shanta Trivedi, The Law and Political Economy Project, July 24, 2023.
Opinion: "Inadequate Housing for Foster Children Is Only Part of the Problem," Shanta Trivedi (with Richard Wexler), The Baltimore Banner, September 26, 2022.
Opinion: "The Supreme Mom Guilt Is Real: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and Motherhood," Shanta Trivedi, Ms. Magazine, March 22, 2022.
Opinion: "Apparently We Don’t Need Abortion Because of Adoption … "Or Whatever"," Shanta Trivedi, Ms. Magazine, December 14, 2021.
Opinion: "Texas Is Failing Its Children: The Hidden Consequences of S.B. 8," Shanta Trivedi, Ms. Magazine, November 4, 2021.
Opinion: "The Case for Providing Guaranteed Income to Kids Aging out of Foster Care," Shanta Trivedi (with Mark Courtney), The Appeal, February 5, 2021.
Opinion: "Note to Democrats: We Need Compassion and Reason Regarding Child Welfare," Shanta Trivedi, The Hill, November 25, 2019.


"Mandating Support for Survivors" Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law 30, no. 1 (2023).

Explains the history of mandated reporting laws and explains why these laws are counterproductive in cases of intimate partner violence. Suggests a framework of mandated supporting instead of mandated reporting to ensure survivors are able to access the supports they need and children can remain safe.

"The Adoption and Safe Families Act Is Not Worth Saving: The Case for Repeal" Family Court Review 61, no. 2 (2023): 315–340.

Draws on the work of impacted parents, advocates, and scholars to argue that a law whose foundation is built on inherently prejudicial policies cannot be repaired; it must be dismantled in its entirety. Suggests a path forward that is led by impacted people and respects the right to family integrity and investing in communities.

"A Role for Communities in Reasonable Efforts to Prevent Removal" (with Matthew Fraidin). Columbia Journal of Race and Law 12, no. 1 (2022).

Discusses how the "child welfare system" exists to safeguard the well-being of minors, noting that child welfare agencies often exercise their authority by removing children in the aftermath of family crises that less disruptive upstream interventions could have mitigated. Argues that prevention of child removal must include primary prevention measures to strengthen communities.

"My Family Belongs to Me: A Child’s Constitutional Right to Family Integrity" Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 56, no. 2 (2021).

Argues that children should assert their right to family integrity in legal proceedings against their parents that could result in the destruction of their family units. Comprehensively examines the legal, theoretical, and international law principles that support such arguments.

"The Harm of Child Removal" N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change 43, no. 3 (2019).

Examines why the harm of removal should be a featured part of every child welfare decision. Analyzes existing law and legal practices to demonstrate how consideration of the harms of removal can be built into existing legal frameworks to achieve the stated purpose of the child welfare system and truly protect our children.