Editor’s Note: This post was originally written in 2013 [here], updated in 2015 [here], rewritten in 2017 [here]. This is an update of the 2017 article. Find the amendment here.

Having witnessed and been the victim of state abuse, I can testify to the depths to which a government agent will go to assert power over a citizen. I am not alone. A couple of years ago, I came across a story that reminded me how dangerous it would be to give government agents legalized authority over our children. When I first heard of the Parental Rights Amendment, I was so excited!!! “YES!” I thought.

Then I read the amendment. It does NOT protect a parent’s rights! It actually subjugates our rights to a JUDGE. The truth is this amendment will be the end of parental rights.

The completely bizarre aspect is that it was written by the well-meaning attorneys at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)! They and I have emailed back and forth on the topic many times. They contend this amendment doesn’t give the state ultimate authority. I wholeheartedly disagree!!! Heck, just read it below!

Why a Parental Rights Amendment at all?

This amendment was written originally because it sounded like international law re the “Rights of the CHILD” was about to precede the US Constitution and our natural-born parental rights! (See Section 3 of the original below.)

The truth is we don’t need this amendment. The US Constitution GUARANTEES to protect our rights.

Besides, there is no legal authority for ANY international law to precede ours. We are a sovereign nation, we make our own laws. Int’l “laws” certainly have no authority over US citizens even if they are “legal”… even if a President tries to sign ours away.

Now, government agents can DENY these rights using their monopoly on the use of force — this happens every single day to thousands of human beings. But they cannot take your rights away nor grant them to you.

Our rights do not come from government. We are born with them. They are ours by virtue of our humanity. In fact, EVERY human worldwide has these rights, every human is born with them. It’s just that, in the US, our Constitution guarantees to protect our rights.

The Parental Rights Amendment

Original Parental Rights Amendment

  • SECTION 1 The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.
  • SECTION 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. [Emphasis mine]
  • SECTION 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.

Sounds good. I signed this one before I realized the dangers in the bolded section above.

Current “Parental Rights” Amendment

The part about Int’l law has been deleted. Sections 2, 4 & 5 are new.

  • SECTION 1 The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.
  • SECTION 2 The parental right to direct education includes the right to choose, as an alternative to public education, private, religious, or home schools, and the right to make reasonable choices within public schools for one’s child.
  • SECTION 3 Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served. [Emphasis mine]
  • SECTION 4 The parental rights guaranteed by this article shall not be denied or abridged on account of disability.
  • SECTION 5 This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life. [Emphasis mine]

Why the Parental Rights Amendment is dangerous

About Section 3

“Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest … is of the highest order and not otherwise served.”

This section actually subjugates parents’ rights to a governmental interest!

  • IOW, parents have the fundamental right UNTIL some government agency demonstrates its interest is of “the highest order”.
  • IOW, you have rights UNTIL a government agency demonstrates its interest is HIGHER THAN YOURS.
  • A judge can prove his interest is of “the highest order” without breaking a sweat. The bang of a gavel and your kids are gone.

About Section 5

“This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.”

I assume they mean murder, but this can also be about medical decisions. You are already required to treat your children according to a conventional medical doctor’s decision. You may not treat ANY CHILD’S MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS with alternative measures. Visit MedicalKidnap.com to learn more.

There are already laws against doing harm to another human being, big or little. You can already lose parental rights if you harm your child.

We parents already have the natural-born rights to raise our children as we see fit. What this amendment will do is give constitutional authority to judges to INFRINGE UPON our parental rights.

Other reasons to oppose the Parental Rights Amendment

“Parenting” is not one of the federal government’s 17 enumerated authorities, meaning it has no authority to legislate parenting.

This amendment will make it legal for the state to take away your child if

The list of offenses for which parents have already lost their children is long. The HSLDA attorneys say this amendment will protect children from arbitrary takings. I contend it will make it easier.

In fact, we already have constitutional protection from arbitrary laws. Judges and agencies routinely ignore those, too.

The state is behaving badly NOW. Do we really want to permanently legalize its authority over our children?

In Conclusion

Our legal system and Congress already ignore the Constitution NOW. We parents already have protections and guarantees in place in that legal document. Why don’t we get those in power to follow the Constitution now, as it’s written?

Because we are BUSY working to pay taxes. This is one more amendment they will twist on its head, ignoring intent, and use to gain even more power and control over us.

Do not sign it and share this with anyone thinking of signing it.

Everyone who trusts its government to use this constitutional authority wisely and without prejudice, raise your hand.


QUESTION to the HSLDA Attorneys: Thousands of people signed the petition endorsing the original wording. Every time the Amendment is changed, shouldn’t you dispose of the signatures and start over?


Resources: