Parental Rights

The Family Policy Institute of Washington believes that both the responsibility and the authority for raising children rest primarily with their biological or adoptive parents. Government should empower parents to control the upbringing of their children and minimize its interference with the exercise of parental authority, except in cases of demonstrable abuse or neglect.

Specifically, public policy should protect the right and maximize the power of parents to choose the form of education they wish for their children, be it public schools, secular or religious private schools, or home schooling. Public schools should avoid undermining parental authority or interfering with transmission of parental values to their children.

Medical procedures should not be performed on minors without parental consent, except in cases of medical emergency or public health necessity. The right of parents to impose necessary discipline upon their children should not be infringed.

FPIW Supports Parental Rights Constitutional Amendment:

Recently, parents from around the country have been concerned over a UN treaty that Sen. Barbara  Boxer is pushing the Obama administration to ratify. This particular UN treaty deals with children's rights at the expense of parental input and authority. Many have concerns that these types of treaties will have far-reaching negative effects on both US sovereignty and the privacy of families and parents.

The FPIW applauds the efforts of Senator Jim DeMint and Congressman Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan for introducing HJR 97 relating to parental rights.

Sen. DeMint and Rep. Hoekstra's constitutional amendment:

  1. The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.    
  2. Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served. 
  3. No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.

HJR 97 would ensure that parents are allowed to raise their children without over-burdensome government influence or an international community of experts setting standards that do not reflect the personal values and morals of a particular home.