This article, which concentrates largely on literature from the United States, discusses the ethical aspects of research with children, beginning with the historical ill-treatment of children and extending to the present-day protections. Researchers struggle to find the balance that would most benefit this vulnerable population. Children must be protected but society deserves the knowledge that can only be gained through child-specific research. Ethical questions arise through the presentation of historical and current cases of children involved in or excluded from research. Examples of ethical dilemmas are presented in an effort to allow the reader to learn from the past while seeking to provide research-based care today. Strategies are included to help safeguard the autonomy of the child who participates in research.