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Parental Rights

The natural rights of parents presume the obligation to protect children and not harm them. State intervention is appropriate as a last resort when parents pose a risk to their children’s health or safety. Nevertheless, the proper balance of power between citizens and the state requires a narrow definition of harm.

Coercive state intervention in the family should be limited to cases where (1) serious physical or emotional harm to the child is imminent and (2) the intervention is likely to be less detrimental than the status quo.


  • Respect parents and protect children by ending excessive state interference into families.
  • Require greater transparency and accountability in CPS investigations.

Talking points for liberty fighters

  • Since 1923, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared the fundamental rights of parents and has applied strict scrutiny to state intrusions into the family.
  • 10 states have enacting statutes codifying the overwhelming weight of Supreme Court precedent defining and protecting parental rights.
  • In 2004, a Texas attorney general opinion confirmed that parents possess a fundamental liberty interest subject to strict scrutiny analysis.

Our stance on specific bills related to this issue

HB 2134

HB 2134 would improve the accuracy and accountability of medical consultations provided to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) by a health care provider in connection with an investigation into suspected abuse or neglect.

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